Whereas Bertagnoli obtained affirmation simply, her street there was bumpy. After President Joe Biden appointed her to steer the Nationwide Institutes of Well being in Might, the senator selected her. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) delayed her nomination for a number of months in an try and wrest a complete plan to decrease drug costs from the White Home.
He and Senator Pennsylvania. John Fetterman They had been the one members of the Democratic caucus to vote in opposition to affirmation. Thirty-four Republicans additionally voted no.
In a speech earlier than the vote, Sanders described Bertagnoli, who lately led the Nationwide Most cancers Institute, as “an clever, caring individual,” however stated he was not satisfied she was “able to confront the greed and energy of pharmaceutical firms.” “.
Fetterman echoed Sanders’ considerations.
As chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over well being care nominees, Sanders declined to carry a committee vote till final month He then relented The Biden administration struck a take care of biotech firm Regeneron that included an affordable pricing provision for the Covid remedy it’s growing with federal help.
5 Republicans then joined Democrats to push Bertagnoli’s nomination out of the Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Throughout it Affirmation listening to Final month, Sanders and Rating Member Invoice Cassidy (R-Los Angeles) pressed Bertagnoli on her method to drug pricing and whether or not she would add cheap pricing provisions to NIH contracts. She instructed each members that she couldn’t decide to any specific drug pricing coverage.
Bertagnoli supplied perception into her priorities as NIH director, together with enhancing scientific trials.
“One of many different commitments I need to make is to run scientific trials – since that’s certainly one of my core experience – which might be sooner, extra complete and extra aware of individuals’s wants,” she instructed the HELP committee final month. “It is one of many main initiatives I might wish to see occur at NIH.”