Dr Robert Califf received Senate confirmation as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today, according to an article on the Reuters website.

The cardiologist and researcher’s nomination was contentious, as some senators—including Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV)—objected to his ties to the pharmaceutical industry and the agency’s handling of the opioid crisis under his leadership, according to Reuters. This is Califf’s second time at the helm of the FDA in over a year since the federal agency last had a permanent leader. He previously served as FDA commissioner from the end of February 2016 to January 2017, according to the article.

Califf was confirmed with “overwhelming bipartisan support” the first time he served as leader, according to Reuters, with 89 senators voting in his favor. In contrast this time around, there were only 50 votes in favor, and 46 against, with some previous Republican supporters withdrawing their support after Califf “told the Senate health committee in December that he trusted the FDA to make the right decision as it considered easing abortion pill restrictions, which it did two days later.”

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Source: Reuters

Image: Duke University School of Medicine