Senate Committee Leaders Agree To Approve Nomination of FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan To Head CMS
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have agreed to approve the nomination of FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan as CMS administrator, according to a Senate leadership aide, CongressDaily reports. Under the agreement, the committee on Monday will hold a hearing on the nomination and vote by Tuesday, which will allow the full Senate to vote before a one-week recess scheduled to begin at the end of next week, the aide said. However, McClellan may face challenges on the Senate floor, where at least three senators may seek to delay his confirmation because of his opposition to the reimportation of lower-cost, U.S.-made prescription drugs from Canada and other nations. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) have said that they "want to hear a fuller explanation of why McClellan opposes reimportation," CongressDaily reports. McClellan has said that FDA cannot certify the safety of prescription drugs reimported from Canada and other countries (Heil, CongressDaily, 3/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.