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Durbin reiterates that the now-confirmed Dr. Califf must finally use the authority of the FDA to protect children and regulate the e-cigarette industry

WASHINGTON — Today, the United States Senate confirmed the appointment of Dr. Robert Califf as head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement after voting in favor of Dr. Califf’s confirmation:

“The The person leading the FDA must feel a deep sense of responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all Americans, including helping to lead our COVID-19 response and keeping food on our tables and medicines safe. in our cabinets. I have made it clear to Dr. Califf that he must undo the failures of his predecessors and use his authority as commissioner of the FDA to regulate the tobacco and e-cigarette industries that have fueled the vaping epidemic among youth. Whether it’s misleading claims by opioid manufacturers or predatory tactics by vaping companies, we need an FDA that puts public health first. It’s been long overdue. »

Durbin met with Dr. Califf in December and again in February to discuss concerns about the FDA’s longstanding delays in enforcing its authority against tobacco and e-cigarette products that are sold to children. Following FDA enforcement failures against flavored, child-friendly e-cigarettes like JUUL, millions of children are addicted to nicotine, wiping out years of progress in lowering the rate smoking among young people. For decades, Durbin has led congressional efforts to investigate and regulate tobacco products, especially kid-friendly e-cigarettes.

During their meetings, Durbin also discussed the FDA’s role in the COVID-19 response; its bipartisan legislation on drug pricing, Drug Price Transparency for Competition (DTC) Act; how to help terminally ill patients access new treatments; and legislation requiring supplement manufacturers to list their products with the FDA.


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