'McClellan Wasted No Time Setting New Course for FDA'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 20, 2004) — Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President Carl B. Feldbaum issued the following statement on today's announcement by President Bush to nominate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., as the new administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

"Commissioner McClellan wasted no time in setting a new course for the FDA, one which is committed to new drug innovation by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers. The result has been a substantial number of approvals for a host of new medicines that will benefit millions of patients across the country.

"We wish Dr. McClellan well on his appointment to head CMS, the lead agency in implementing the new Medicare law. Based on the level-headed and streamlined approach that he has applied to his post at the FDA, we are optimistic that Dr. McClellan will provide an equally high level of no-nonsense leadership to CMS.

"We hope that Dr. McClellan's successor at the FDA will maintain his commitment to innovation and willingness to work with industry to ensure that new medicines proven safe and effective make their way to patients as quickly as possible."

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. For more information on BIO, please visit