Ralph Nader once called Washington “corporate-occupied territory.”
“Every department agency is controlled by corporate lobbyists and executives” in charge of assuring that the business of America remains serving the interests of wealth, power and privilege at the expense of the general welfare.
Pharma stands at or near the top of the pecking order in Washington.
Whatever it wants, it gets.
The top priority of US public health agencies is maximizing Pharma profits.
In January, Pharma-linked FDA head Janet Woodcock will be succeeded by Robert Califf.
She served Pharma’s interests since joining the agency in 1986 — in a number of senior positions, including as acting commissioner.
Califf succeeds her next month pending Senate confirmation.
His main credential is longstanding ties to Pharma — serving its interests over what public health is supposed to be.
He was Pharma’s man before at FDA from February 2016 to January 2017.
Before becoming commissioner the first time around, he was deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Medical Products and Tobacco.
In 2019, he headed medical strategy for online gatekeeper
Google’s parent company Alphabet.
He became super-rich by serving Pharma’s interests.
According to ethics and financial disclosure documents, he made millions of dollars by assuring that whatever Pharma wants it gets.
His industry stock holdings are valued at around $8 million.
He’s been a paid consultant for Merck, J & J, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Hoffmann-La Roche, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Daiichi Sankyo, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.
He was a Portola Pharmaceuticals director, a Proventys advisor, chairman of Regardo Biosciences medical advisory board and a Corgentech clinical advisory board member.
He’s an Alphabet-owned Verily Life Sciences senior advisor and a board member of biotech company Cytokinetics.
The fake Biden dubiously called him “one of the most experienced clinical trialists in the country, and has the experience to lead the (FDA) during a critical time (sic) in our nation’s fight to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic” — that’s invented, not real.
According to Public Citizen’s Health Research Group director Michael Carome:
“Califf has a long history of extensive financial ties to Big Pharma, most significantly through pharmaceutical industry funding of the Duke Clinical Research Institute,” adding:
“We need someone to tilt in the opposite direction and be more pro-public health and less pro-regulated industry.”
Public Citizen’s Craig Holman slammed Califf for “cash(ing) in on the revolving door both going into government and back out again into the private sector.”
He’s a walking, talking Pharma-linked conflict of interest writ large.
Biden regime build back better opponent Senator Joe Manchin called for “an FDA commissioner (who) understands the gravity of the prescription drug epidemic and the role of the FDA in fighting back against the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.”
The Revolving Door Project said the “problem” with Califf is his close ties to Pharma.
The FDA needs “a strong and principled regulator, not (a) Pharma “rubber stamp.’ ”
Earlier as FDA deputy commissioner for the Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, he “met with lobbyists and executives for the medical device industry to write proposed language for the 21st Century Cures Act.”
The measure “created a quicker path to authorizing ‘breakthrough’ medical technologies, a designation that Public Citizen (called) ‘too broad (that) could lead to clearance of devices that aren’t ready for the market.”
National Center for Health Research president Diana Zuckerman called Califf’s virtual collusion with Pharma officials “worse than a revolving door” — by flagrantly breaching ethical standards.
He once called for loosening or entirely removing the FDA’s informed consent requirements for certain clinical trials.
He was sharply criticized for urging fast-track approval of a drug lacking clinical efficacy.
As a board member and consultant to Faculty Connection, the firm boasted about its ability to “influenc(e) the FDA.”
His longstanding ties to Pharma show indifference toward public health.
His involvement in leading J & J’s clinical trials for its Xarelto blood thinner — granted approval in 2011 — came despite several trial subjects gravely harmed by debilitating strokes.
Califf pushed for approving what one critic called “lack of care” in the trial’s design and execution.
Following approval, hundreds of avoidable deaths occurred.
Califf earlier was founding director of Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute, a largely Pharma-funded initiative.
According to the Revolving Door Project, he has a disturbing history of serving his Pharma funders — even for products that jeopardize health and well-being.
He’s a glaring example “of the endemic revolving door at the highest levels of federal regulation.”
His shifting back and forth between the public and private sectors “raise(s) the (obvious) question of whose interests” he’ll serve as FDA commissioner.
The obvious answer needs no elaboration.