President Joe Biden might appoint Robert Califf as the Food and Drug Administration’s commissioner, again.
WASHINGTON — To replace acting FDA commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, the Biden White House is reportedly vetting former commissioner Dr. Rob Califf to lead the drug and tobacco agency.
News media across the vaping industry indicate that President Joe Biden and his team view Califf as a best fit for a possible second appointment to the post to oversee the FDA and its expansive role in regulating tobacco products, pharmaceuticals, and drugs.
Unnamed administration officials informed the Washington Post that Califf had received a lot of attention in recent weeks.
Califf was the FDA commissioner when the Obama administration issued its final Tobacco Control Act Deeming Rule on tobacco products that include electronic cigarettes, other ENDS devices, e-liquids, risk-reduced nicotine products like pouches, and others.
“With this rule, the FDA will be able to prevent misleading claims and provide consumers with information to help them better understand the risks,” said Califf when the rule was issued in May of 2016, citing the Deeming Rule and the mandates of the passed controversial Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Other vaping industry media news outlets report that Joe Biden has been in office for nearly nine months without nominating a long-term candidate for FDA commissioner. Woodcock has served as acting commissioner, but they cannot remain in the job past mid-November by law.
“There has not been a decision made for the FDA commissioner and we remain grateful to the strong acting leadership at the FDA,” said a White House official in reporting to CNN this week.
Califf was up for confirmation in 2016.
He faced opposition from several Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, who criticized his ties to the pharmaceutical industry and argued they must “act now to change the culture at the FDA if we have any hope of stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic that is ravaging our nation.” Concerns weren’t heard.
Califf was confirmed by 89 votes to 4, in favor, in 2016.
This will be monitored moving forward.