August 29, 2000
The Honorable Albert Gore, Jr.
The Vice President of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. Vice President:
As the presidential campaigns begin to focus intently on seniors' access to prescription drugs, we ask that you champion the value and promise of biotechnology research to develop these drugs. We also ask that during this campaign you do no harm to this life-saving research.
Specifically, we ask that you emphasize the potential of biotechnology research to treat many deadly and disabling diseases of seniors for which we have no effective treatment, let alone a cure. We ask you to acknowledge that one of the principal access issues facing seniors is the absence of any approved and effective therapy.
Put simply, we ask that you champion the biotechnology entrepreneurs who are exemplars of the New Economy. They are seeking to develop breakthrough therapies and the industry is the most capital- and research-intensive anywhere. On average, a company devotes about a decade, and hundreds of millions of dollars, to bring a new breakthrough drug to market. This is risk-taking on a scale that is unprecedented even in the New Economy.
Finally, we invite you to visit a biotechnology company. Such a setting would be an ideal location for a statement about these issues. We have concentrations of BIO-member companies in California, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Florida.
We would be pleased to work with you and your campaign staff to schedule such a visit.
Thank you very much for your support.
Carl B. Feldbaum
Biotechnology Industry Organization