WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today voted against confirming President Biden’s nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to serve as the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“The substance misuse epidemic continues to devastate New Hampshire families, and we must do everything that we can to address it. I have serious concerns about the FDA’s role in fueling this crisis through its handling of opioid approvals and labeling, including during Dr. Califf’s time at the agency. I voted against his nomination because it does not appear that things would be different under his leadership,” said Senator Hassan.
Senator Hassan continued, “I will stay laser-focused on working with the administration and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get New Hampshire the resources that it needs to address the substance misuse epidemic and increase access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”
Senator Hassan has repeatedly expressed concerns with the FDA’s past decision-making processes for the approval and labeling of opioid drugs. During Dr. Califf's nomination hearing, Senator Hassan called upon him to address FDA’s inaction on opioid misuse and failure to fix labeling guidance issues for opioids. She also pressed Dr. Califf on the FDA’s approval of OxyContin.
Senators Hassan and Ed Markey (D-MA) previously wrote to the FDA calling for a fuller accounting of the FDA’s past decision-making processes. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Hassan, and colleagues also previously wrote to President Biden detailing concerns with the FDA’s previous decision making for prescription opioids and calling for new leadership at the FDA.