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FDA Nominee to Face Senate Panel Today

October 07, 2002|Bloomberg News

Mark McClellan will need to persuade U.S. senators today that his experiences as a doctor and economics advisor qualify him to be the next head of the Food and Drug Administration.

Officials from industries regulated by the agency support President Bush's nomination. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who heads the committee that will review the appointment at a hearing today, plans to question McClellan about his lack of government agency work, spokesman James Manley said.

The drug, food and medical device safety agency oversees products that account for about 22 cents of every $1 spent by U.S. consumers, said Brad Stone, an agency spokesman. The FDA has about 10,000 employees and a yearly budget of $1.6 billion.

A call to McClellan's office was directed to the White House press office.

"Dr. McClellan is highly respected and highly qualified for the post," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, who is also the nominee's brother. "He has diverse experience in research, medicine and economics."

McClellan already has won confirmation from the Senate once, when Bush named him to the White House's advisory Council of Economic Advisors. He also lacks ties to FDA-regulated companies, which will help him in the Senate, analysts said.

McClellan has spent much of his career examining the cost of health care. He has published more than 25 articles, looking at topics such as Medicare reimbursement. He also served in the Clinton administration as a Treasury official.

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