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