FRAMINGHAM (03/22/2004) - Mark McClellan's presumptive move from the top job at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has surprised many, but agency observers say McClellan's vision for the drug agency is likely to continue even after he departs. McClellan's initiatives -- ranging from faster, more efficient drug reviews to high-tech approaches for adverse event reporting -- are likely to persist, according to Ira Loss, executive vice president at the equity research firm Washington Analysis. Under McClellan, the FDA approved a number of high-profile drugs: notably ImClone Inc.'s Erbitux and AstraZeneca PLC's Iressa, as well as two long-delayed Viagra competitors.
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