WASHINGTONPresident Bush has nominated Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, who has held senior positions in both the Clinton and current Bush Administrations, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. McClellan will assume a major health post that has remained vacant since the resignation of Jane E. Henney, MD, in January 2001.
Dr. McClellan, a physician and economist, is currently a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, on which he has served since July 2001.
He joined the Bush Administration from Stanford University, where he was associate professor of both economics and medicine, and attending physician at Stanford Health Services. From 1998 to 1999, he was deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy, and he previously served on the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Board.
Much of Dr. McClellan’s research has focused on health care economics, including cost-benefit studies of new medical technologies showing that innovations in medicine benefit both patients and the economy. Within the White House, he has served as the President’s senior adviser on health care and health economic issues, including the President’s plan to provide prescription drugs to Medicare recipients and to make health care more accessible and affordable.
"Dr. McClellan has a strong background in medicine, science, public policy, and economics. This experience would serve him well at the FDA as it continues its efforts to create a more responsive FDA," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson.
Filling the top FDA job has been a politically contentious issue in Washington. Dr. McClellan fulfills one requirement that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass), who chairs the Senate committee that will hold hearings on Dr. McClellan’s nomination, has insisted onthat the new commissioner had not worked in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. McClellan received bachelor degrees in English and biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985. He earned a master’s of public administration in regulatory policy from Harvard University in 1991, received his medical degree in 1992 through the joint Har-vard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) program in health sciences and technology, and a PhD in economics from MIT in 1993. Dr. McClellan did his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is board certified in internal medicine.