Acting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January to complete his tenure at the agency. 

Calling Califf “a qualified nominee who will help guide an agency that affects nearly every single American and regulates over $4 trillion annually,” Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) hailed the appointment and said he looks forward to working with him on important health issues. Access to prescription medications and medical devices and the regulation of tobacco products are under FDA jurisdiction. 

“The FDA can help the market lower drug prices by approving generic drugs and other products as quickly as it possibly can, so there is more choice and competition in the market,” Alexander noted.

The senators asked Califf in his confirmation hearings about backlogs on generic drugs, regenerative cell therapies, and the president’s Medicine Initiative, all important topics to the HELP Committee. Alexander said that he hopes the FDA will find ways to streamline regulations and deliver greater access to patients in need of health care.