Washington, DC (April 10, 2013) –Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal released today:
“BIO stands ready to work with the Administration to develop policies that help spur innovation, foster economic opportunity, discover new cures and create jobs. While we look forward to working with the Administration on these shared goals, BIO is very concerned and opposed to a number of provisions in the President's budget.
“Unfortunately, today’s proposed budget offers policies that will significantly slow our search for cures to treat the diseases afflicting millions of Americans, while undermining the creation of good, high-paying biotech jobs.
“For example, the President continues to call for undoing the bipartisan, bicameral compromise relating to biosimilars. His proposal to lower the period of innovator data protection from 12 to seven years will jeopardize future medical breakthroughs, thus harming patients who are looking forward with hope to new cures and treatments. The 12-year term of data protection for biologics included in the Affordable Care Act received, and continues to receive, widespread bipartisan support in the Congress and is now settled U.S. law.
“In addition, the proposal to reduce physician reimbursement for Medicare Part B drugs will threaten patient access to these important therapies. Within the past week we have seen news reports detailing how patients are seeing their access to these therapies limited due to sequestration-related cuts in this area. Lowering the reimbursement rate even further will make this situation even worse.
"Other harmful proposals include changes to Medicare Part D and prohibiting drug-related patent settlements. Patients are overwhelmingly pleased with Medicare Part D, and the private competition between various drug plans keeps costs to patients down. We should not disrupt this properly working benefit by making unnecessary changes. And patent settlements promote earlier generic entry, save patients and payers money, and ease congestion in our courts. Prohibiting them is not the answer.
“The provisions described above undermine the hope of cures and breakthrough new medicines for patients living with debilitating diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. They jeopardize much needed job growth in the U.S. and threaten to curtail our nation’s global leadership in biotech innovation.
“This proposed budget is not a good prescription for patients or for innovation. As always, though, we will work with the Administration and with the Congress to ensure our shared goals of patient access and innovation, and to develop policies that are good for both America’s health and economy.”
The biotechnology industry has long been an engine for economic development and job creation across the country and our sector is working to add more high-wage high-skilled jobs to our workforce. Currently the biotech sector directly employs 1.61 million workers while sustaining an additional 3.4 million jobs across the country, according to Battelle.
For more information on the biotech industry, please visit www.bio.org.
Upcoming BIO Events
BIO International Convention
April 22 – 25, 2013
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology
June 16-19, 2013
BIO IPCC Conference
November 6-8, 2013
Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy
December 8-11, 2013
San Diego, CA