WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2007) -- The following statement was issued today by Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood regarding today’s vote in the U.S. Senate to consider legislation amending the successful Medicare Drug Benefit:
“The Senate should abandon efforts to amend the Medicare Modernization Act to allow the federal government to interfere in negotiations between drug manufacturers, pharmacies and plan sponsors. Legislation proposed to date would effectively limit patient access to important breakthrough therapies and could lead to price controls which stifle innovation and harm future drug and biological discovery.
“The Medicare prescription drug benefit has provided affordable prescription medication to more than 38 million Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are saving more than $1,200 per year and who are satisfied with the plan they have chosen. Due to negotiations between drug benefit plan providers and drug manufacturers, premiums are lower than expected – as is the cost to the federal government.
“The goal of government policy should be to promote, not discourage, the development of breakthrough therapies that target unmet clinical needs and improve upon existing treatment options. Misguided legislation could reverse the remarkable strides made toward the discovery of cures for previously untreatable patient populations by deterring the use of such medicines once they reach the market.
“We look forward to working with the full Congress to ensure continued biomedical innovation and access to innovative therapies for our nation’s seniors and the disabled.”
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world’s largest annual gathering of the global biotechnology industry. www.bio.org
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