Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2002)-Mitchel Sayare, Ph.D., president, CEO and chairman of ImmunoGen Inc., will testify Wednesday, April 17, on BIO’s behalf at a House Ways & Means full-committee hearing on integrating prescription drugs into Medicare. The hearing begins at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1100 of the Longworth Building. Sayare’s testimony will be posted on BIO’s Web site immediately after its delivery.
“As head of a company developing innovative oncology products, Dr. Sayare knows the impact Medicare’s coverage structure can have on patient access to innovative medications, as well as its effects on the availability of R&D investment to make those new drugs possible,” said Sharon L. Cohen, BIO’s vice president for government relations. “Dr. Sayare and other biotechnology leaders welcome a sensibly designed Medicare prescription drug coverage package-one that relies on private market solutions and provides stop loss protection-as a means of bringing 21st century medicines to our nation’s seniors.
“Of course, most biotechnology drugs in the market today are already covered under Medicare because they are administered in hospital settings or in physicians’ offices,” Cohen added. “But this coverage has been threatened by recent cuts in the hospital outpatient pass-through payments and inconsistent policies on Medicare coverage of self-injectables. These current Medicare coverage matters are affecting beneficiaries today. We realize this is a busy election-year legislative session, and the focus will undoubtedly be on the outpatient prescription drug issue in Medicare, but we hope Congress can also address some of the current threats to existing Medicare coverage for biotech drugs.”
Based in Cambridge, Mass., ImmunoGen is a publicly traded biotechnology company that has anti-cancer drugs in various stages of clinical development for colorectal, pancreatic, small-cell and non-small cell lung cancer. Prior to joining the company in 1986, Dr. Sayare was vice president for development at Xenogen Inc. and before that assistant professor of biophysics and biochemistry at the University of Connecticut. He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Temple University School of Medicine. He serves on the board of directors of ImmuCell Corp. in addition to a number of private companies and non-profit organizations.
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.