President Barack Obama’s nominee for head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been found to have a comfortable relationship with Big Pharma.
The nominee, Robert Califf, received more than $200,000 in consulting fees from large pharmaceutical companies from 2009 to 2015. Califf is a former cardiologist and clinical trial researcher at Duke University. He joined the FDA in February as the deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco.
Califf received the money from the medical industry’s biggest criminals: Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., and GlaxoSmithKline. Additionally, the companies spent $21,000 on travel expenses, meals, and other perks for Califf during his time as a consultant for Big Pharma. His most recent payment came in January, right before joining the FDA.
AstraZeneca paid Califf $5,100 for him to participate in a company employee education session about cardiovascular disease.
Califf isn’t the first FDA official have a cozy relationship with Big Pharma. Many people within the agency have had past dealings with the industry that perpetuates a system of corporate favoritism.
For more on this story, visit the Wall Street Journal “FDA Nominee Received Industry Fees”