ASCO Confirms Support for the President's Nominee for FDA Commissioner

Fifty organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, have expressed their confidence in Robert Califf, MD, to lead the FDA.

In a joint letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and 50 other national and local organizations, have backed the nomination of Robert Califf, MD, as Commissioner of the FDA. Dr Califf, if approved, will take over the reigns of the regulatory body from temporary chief, Stephen Ostroff, MD. Dr Ostroff was filling-in for Margaret Hamburg, MD, who stepped down in February this year.

Dr Califf has spent most of his career in academia, with more than 30 years as a prominent cardiologist and medical researcher at Duke University. However, he has some experience with the FDA, having served on the agency's Cardiorenal Advisory Panel from 1996 to 2000 and its Science Board Working Group from 2007 to 2008.

In the letter, the organizations declare their confidence in Dr Califf, stating, "We believe that with Dr Califf's diverse background, and his exemplary knowledge of clinical and translational medicine, he will continue to improve the FDA's drug approval process while ensuring that patients are receiving the safest and most effective treatments as quickly as possible. We urge his immediate confirmation."

Read the letter.