SCAI supports the decision to nominate Robert M. Califf, MD, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated Dr. Tim Henry, SCAI President, and Dr. Sunil Rao, SCAI’s In-coming President. 

Dr. Califf’s background as a cardiologist and former FDA commissioner, as well as Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, provides critical experience to play a vital role in the nation’s continuing COVID-19 public health emergency. 

His experience as Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at Duke University, director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, and founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute make him especially qualified to help lead the FDA as it emerges from the current crisis. 

Drs. Henry and Rao commented that SCAI and the nation’s interventional cardiologists are proud to have worked with Dr. Califf in the past and look forward to continuing to support the FDA regarding COVID-19 issues, medical device review and regulation, and tobacco control matters.  

SCAI is a non-profit professional association with over 4,500 members representing the majority of practicing interventional cardiologists and cardiac catheterization teams in the United States, including those providing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). SCAI promotes excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through education, and the advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. 

The statement follows President Joe Biden's announcement of his intention to nominate Califf on November 12th.

“As the FDA considers many consequential decisions around vaccine approvals and more, it is mission-critical that we have a steady, independent hand to guide the FDA. I am confident Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data drive decision-making,” Biden stated.

Califf previously served as a FDA commissioner from 2016–17 during the Obama administration and will again face Senate confirmation to assume the role. Janet Woodcock, MD, is currently serving as acting commissioner. 

We look forward to working with Dr. Califf and everyone at the FDA to improve the health of people everywhere,” Drs. Henry and Rao added.