BIO Names Rep. Bill Thomas Biotech Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2000) The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) honored U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) as 1999-2000 Legislator of the Year. Presented earlier today by BIO’s board of directors, the award honors Rep. Thomas’ distinguished leadership and support for biotechnology research.

BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum, said, Representative Thomas has been an outstanding leader in the House on health-care issues; this support for biotechnology has been a fundamental part of his work as chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and his efforts as the administrative chairman of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

Rep. Thomas was also instrumental in the passage of a Medicare reform bill that increases access for seniors to prescription drugs that treat diseases disproportionately suffered by those individuals who are on Medicare, while encouraging research and development of innovative biotech medicines. These diseases include Alzheimer’s, cancer, chronic renal failure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and stroke.

BIO represents more than 920 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in all 50 states and in 26 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, and industrial and environmental biotechnology products.