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BIO Submits Comments Re: HHS Draft Strategic Plan FY 2018-2022

BIO submitted comments in response to the Health and Human Services (HHS/the Agency) Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022. BIO strongly supports HHS’ mission to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the science of underlying medicine, public health, and social services; and the associated strategic planning process.

Dear Acting Secretary Hargan,

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the Health and Human Services (HHS/the Agency) Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022 (Strategic Plan). BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO’s members develop medical products and technologies to treat patients afflicted with serious diseases, to delay the onset of these diseases, or to prevent them in the first place. Our members’ novel therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics not only have improved health outcomes, including productivity and quality of life, but also have reduced healthcare expenditures to due to fewer physician office visits, hospitalizations, and surgical interventions.

BIO strongly supports HHS’ mission to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the science of underlying medicine, public health, and social services; and the associated strategic planning process. We consider it especially important to focus on activities that advance patient access to the most timely and appropriate care and treatment, to help improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs over the short- and long-term. Our comments, detailed in the balance of this letter, focus on patient access and coverage considerations for the following Strategic Goals of the Plan:

 Strategic Goal 1: Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Healthcare System

 Strategic Goal 2: Protect the Health of Americans Where They Live, Learn, Work, and Play

 Strategic Goal 4: Foster Sound, Sustained Advances in the Sciences

As HHS states, "the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan are presented in separate sections, they are interrelated", likewise, the overarching themes we detail in this letter should be considered when assessing goals and objectives across the Strategic Plan.