aamc.org does not support this web browser.
  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Committee Hears From NIH Director Nominee


    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
    For Media Inquiries

    In an Oct. 18 confirmation hearing, National Cancer Institute Director Monica Bertagnolli, MD, answered questions before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee about drug pricing, transparency, rural health, and other issues she would consider if she is confirmed as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Sen. John Barrasso, MD, (R-Wyo.) introduced Bertagnolli at the hearing and highlighted her medical and scientific credentials, her Wyoming roots, and his support for her nomination. HELP Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-La.) noted “impressive support within the scientific community” for Bertagnolli and indicated that there was no question regarding her scientific qualifications. He and other Republican members of the committee inquired about past NIH policies and practices, including those regarding fetal tissue research, gender-affirming care, and COVID-19. Meanwhile, Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) described his expectation for the next NIH director to “use every tool at his or her disposal to substantially lower the outrageous cost of prescription drugs,” a stance that a number of Republican committee members disputed in their questions to Bertagnolli.

    The AAMC sent an Oct. 16 letter supporting Bertagnolli’s nomination ahead of the hearing. The committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination on Oct. 25.