Senate confirms McClellan as new FDA head

December 1, 2002

Pharmaceutical Representative

The Senate has confirmed Mark B. McClellan as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The Senate has confirmed Mark B. McClellan as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, which has been without a commissioner since early 2001. McClellan is currently a member of the President's Council on Economic Advisors, and he also serves as a senior policy director for healthcare and related economic issues for the White House.

"As a doctor and researcher, Mark McClellan is uniquely qualified to serve as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration," President Bush said at the time of McClellan's nomination in September of this year. "His experience will be very valuable as the FDA faces new challenges in the coming year, including the implementation of legislation I recently signed to help protect the nation from bioterrorism threats, to help speed access to breakthrough medical treatments and to make medical treatments safer. As head of the FDA, Mark will focus on empowering consumers and ensuring rapid access to products that are safe and effective."

Before joining the President's Council on Economic Advisors, McClellan was associate professor of economics at Stanford University, associate professor of medicine at Stanford Medical School, a practicing internist and director of the Program on Health Outcomes Research at Stanford University. Additionally, he was a member of the National Cancer Policy Board of the National Academy of Sciences, associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics, and co-principal investigator of the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal study of the health and economic well-being of older Americans. From 1998 to 1999, he was deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, where he supervised economic analysis and policy development on a wide range of domestic policy issues.

Praise from BIO

The confirmation of McClellan was met with praise from the Washington-based Biotech Industry Organization.

"We offer our congratulations to Dr. McClellan on his appointment to lead the FDA, which is, without a doubt, the single most important federal agency in our industry," said Carl B. Feldbaum, president of BIO. "He appears exceptionally well-qualified to lead the agency and tackle issues related to the recently enacted Prescription Drug User Fee Act, food labeling and the judicious reorganization of the biologics approval process. BIO pledges to assist Dr. McClellan and the agency in any way we can be helpful."

McClellan will be sworn in on Nov. 8. PR

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