Frankenfish

Sanders Is Latest Obstacle to Obama Nominee

Sanders (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration is facing friendly fire, with Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders and Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey both placing a hold on the nomination.  

Sanders said Tuesday that Robert Califf, currently serving as deputy commissioner at the FDA, is too closely tied to the pharmaceutical industry. Califf ran a research operation while at Duke University that received funding from that industry. "At a time when millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase the prescription drugs they require, we need a leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to the drug companies," Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Senate Democrats, said in a statement. "We need someone who will work to substantially lower drug prices, implement rules to safely import brand-name drugs from Canada and hold companies accountable who defraud our government."