National Health Council Issues Letter of Support for FDA Commissioner Nominee

Patient Advocacy Community Urges Confirmation without Delay

Washington, DC (November 5, 2015) – The National Health Council (NHC) called on the U.S. Senate to confirm without delay the nomination of Robert Califf, MD, as the next Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

NHC Chief Executive Officer Marc Boutin sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions yesterday that pointed out that as a clinician, professor, and researcher, “Dr. Califf has developed a proven track record of working with patients and other stakeholders to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.”

For example, during his time at Duke University, Dr. Califf served as the co-chair of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), which seeks to fully integrate the voice of patients in the design and implementation of clinical trials. He was also a principle investigator of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, which will “transform comparative effectiveness research and other types of patient-centered health research to better incorporate the voice of the patient and improve the lives of people with chronic conditions,” the letter states.

Boutin stressed, “FDA is committed to making patients a central focus of their work. It is imperative that the next Commissioner share these values and have a proven history of providing leadership in this area. The NHC can think of no better person who fits this bill than Rob Califf.”

To read the letter, go to

Founded in 1920, the National Health Council (NHC) is the only organization that brings together all segments of the health community to provide a united and effective voice for the more than 133 million people living with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Made up of more than 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, its core membership includes the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major health insurance, pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies.

Nancy Hughes
Cell: 703-608-9709