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Capitol Health Call
April 14, 2004

McClellan Confirmed

JAMA. 2004;291(14):1690. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1690-a

The Senate confirmed the appointment of Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). McClellan had been administrator of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since November 2002. Industry groups applauded the appointment, noting that McClellan had streamlined the FDA's drug approval process.

The confirmation threatened to stall over the issue of reimporting prescription drugs from Canada (in which US residents purchase US-made drugs from Canada at significant savings), a practice that McClellan vehemently opposed at the FDA. As the Senate was considering his appointment, McClellan twice declined to testify on drug reimportation. In response, Sen Byron Dorgan (D, ND) and Sen John McCain (R, Ariz) threatened to delay a funding a bill until McClellan answered questions about the issue.

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