His timelines show Califf taking charge of handling the infant formula crisis
Without all the infant formula meetings, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf’s agenda would resemble that of his many predecessors, emphasizing drugs and medical devices.
After his narrow confirmation to serve a second term as FDA commissioner, the renowned cardiologist faced a food safety crisis when FDA regulatory action shut down the Abbott infant formula factor in Wisconsin.
With the Abbott factory offline, an acute shortage of infant formula ensued, creating another crisis for the Biden administration. Califf’s public calendar shows its first meeting on “infant formula issues” between the FDA and Abbott on May 13, 2022. Two days later there was a second meeting, both virtual.
A third virtual meeting was held on May 18, 2022, and involved Frank Yiannas, deputy food and personnel commissioner for the Kroger grocery chain. The following day, the FDA commissioner held another virtual meeting with Danone North America, Happy Family Brans and Nutricia.
Continuing that day, there were two more virtual meetings, one with Reckitt and another another session with Abbott Laboratories staff.
The FDA, led by Califf, met face to face the following week in Silver Springs, MD, with Abbot Laboratories personnel. The FDA commissioner met virtually the same day with the American Academy of Pediatrics about the infant formula crisis.
The next infant formula meetings were held virtually on June 3, 2022, with Reckitt officials and then with “several groups interested in the issue of infant formula.”
Shortly thereafter, on June 7, 2022, Califf participated in a meeting on infant formula issues with health care provider group leaders.
Califf’s next meeting with Abbott Laboratories was held virtually on June 15, 2022. Two days later, Califf met virtually with “several industry groups interested in infant formula issues.”
The FDA commissioner is meeting in person in Washington DC with members of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and its staff about the infant formula crisis. Additionally, on June 17, 2022, Califf again met virtually with Reckitt’s staff.
On June 24, Califf again participated in another virtual meeting for several industry groups on the issue of formulas. He participated on June 30, 2022 in another virtual meeting with industry groups on the issue of formulas.
Califf’s last June meeting was on Lady’s Day in a face-to-face session with representatives from Bubs Australia and Bondi Partners. It took place in Silver Springs, MD.
July was filled with meetings on infant formula led by Commissioner Califf. On July 4, he met virtually and separately with the global group, Abbott, Gerber Products, Reckitt Danone, Bellamy’s Organic, Kendal Nutricare and Perrigo.
The program continued through July 8, 2022, with meetings with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and several other industry groups.
Another Industry Group meeting with Califf is reported for July 15, 2022.
For a food safety issue to dominate the FDA commissioner’s schedule is unusual. In this case, some say a worsening shortage of infant formula is responsible.
Here are some examples of other events that caught Dr. Califf’s attention:
-Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative Executive Committee
-2000 STAT Breakthrough Science Summit
-2022 Health Datapalooza
-National Institute of Health Care Management
-Medication Information Association
-American Association for Cancer Research
-National Academy of Medicine
-Summit on Prescription and Illegal Drugs
-Health Journalism 2022
-Global innovation in medicine
-American Association of Thoracic Surgery
-Society for clinical trials
-The Vaccination Collaborative
Youth Smoking Prevention
– National Black Family Cancer Awareness
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