BIO Encouraged By House GOP Drug Benefit Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 12, 2000) Nancy Bradish Myers, health-care policy and reimbursement counsel for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement concerning the senior citizens' drug benefit plan proposed today by House Republicans:

"Although we have not seen the specific legislative language, weapplaud the concept in the GOP proposal of making sure the sickest and neediest seniors have access to a drug benefit that provides them the medicines their doctors prescribe," Myers said.

"The Republicans are addressing many concerns raised by seniors and the disabled. The GOP plan, as outlined, encourages the private sector to create for seniors an affordable catastrophic benefit, which has been lacking in most proposed legislation to date. This approach is essential for patients who need expensive, high-value treatments, but cannot afford them.

"The House Republican proposal, as sketched out, embraces the ideals of the free market and gives seniors and the disabled access to the most appropriate and advanced medicines available."

BIO represents more than 900 companies, academic institutions and state biotech centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology.