Washington, DC(March 16, 1999) Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in support of doubling the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the next four years. BIO joined with other medical research advocates today at a press conference on Capitol Hill to emphasize the need for the funding increases.
"In supporting a 15 percent increase for the FY 2000 budget of the NIH and doubling the budget by 2003, BIO backs the efforts of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding, NIHX2, the National Health Council, Research! America and the Campaign for Medical Research.
"BIO will press Congress to double the NIH budget by 2003, a credible goal which requires annual increases of 15 percent over the next four years.
"Many of the 82 biotech drugs and vaccines currently on the market, and the approximate 300 biotech products in late-stage clinical trials, were based upon NIH-funded research. NIH and the biotech industry have a strong partnership in the drug development process. Both play critical roles in finding cures for deadly diseases such as AIDS, heart diseases, Alzheimer's and breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.
"Our industry converts NIH-funded basic research into new therapies and cures for patients. In return, the industry pays royalties on sales of products resulting from the research. This partnership is a fundamental reason why the U.S. leads the world in biotechnology."
BIO represents more than 855 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and state biotechnology centers, in 46 states and more than 25 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.