Califf Wins Senate Confirmation Vote on FDA Top Spot

Deborah Brauser


February 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — With a final vote of 89 to 4, the US Senate today confirmed Dr Robert Califf as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The confirmation comes 5 months after President Obama first nominated Califf for the post and after opposition from a few senators throughout the process that included a threatened filibuster and several press conferences.

Although official debate finally ended after Monday evening's 80-6 cloture vote, Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) registered his continued disapproval of Califf by taking the Senate floor yesterday and speaking nonstop for 76 minutes about his ongoing concerns regarding the FDA's role in the opioid painkiller epidemic.

However, the final confirmation vote was overwhelming in favor of Califf taking over the FDA's top spot.

Califf will follow Dr Margaret Hamburg as the new chief. Hamburg stepped down last March after serving for almost 6 years. Dr Stephen Ostroff has been acting as interim commissioner.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.