US FDA chief: I rely on Four Generic Medications, Probably From India, at Age 72


Dr. Robert Califf, the current head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently conducted an exclusive interview with Indian media, shedding light on the significance of India in the US generic drug supply chain and addressing various issues related to pharmaceutical compliance and manufacturing. At the age of almost 72, Dr. Califf shared that he relies on four generic drugs, likely sourced from India, highlighting India’s role in providing affordable and essential medications to global markets.

Dr. Califf emphasized the need for pharmaceutical companies to establish reliable and predictable manufacturing systems, particularly as new companies enter the sector. He acknowledged the challenges associated with compliance but stressed the importance of creating robust systems to ensure drug safety and efficacy.

Regarding concerns about over-reliance on India and China for drug manufacturing, Dr. Califf advocated for a global distribution approach and suggested that India would continue to be a significant player in supply chain resilience planning.

As the FDA celebrates its 15th year of operations in India, Dr. Califf discussed inspection procedures, mentioning a shift toward more unannounced inspections to ensure the integrity of the inspection process. The goal is to minimize surprises and ensure that drug safety standards are consistently met.

Dr. Califf also acknowledged the progress made by Indian pharmaceutical companies in meeting quality standards and fostering a culture of compliance. He emphasized the importance of ongoing training and teamwork while noting improvements in top-down approaches within Indian firms.

Overall, Dr. Califf’s interview underscores India’s vital role in the global pharmaceutical industry and the need for continued collaboration and compliance efforts to maintain high-quality drug manufacturing and supply chain resilience.