BIO Names Sen. Kent Conrad a Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2004) - As part of its annual Legislative Day event, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today named Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) as a 2003-2004 "Legislator of the Year." The award was presented today during a luncheon at the Reserve Officers Association.

"BIO salutes Senator Conrad for his commitment to creating a prescription drug benefit for the nation's elderly and protecting patient access to vital health care services," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. "His successful efforts to expand Medicare coverage for self-injected biologics will help ensure that patients suffering from such chronic and debilitating diseases as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, will have access to the medicines that can improve the quality of their lives.

"Also, as an active member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and ranking member of the Production and Price Competitiveness Subcommittee, Senator Conrad has worked diligently to create a level, global playing field for the American farmer," Feldbaum added.

More than 200 congressional meetings with more than 150 biotechnology industry representatives are expected to be conducted on Capitol Hill during the BIO Legislative Day event. Among the planned topics of discussion: tax incentives for biomedical research, funding threats facing emerging biotech companies, the risks associated with drug importation, Medicare coverage of off-label drugs, animal and eco-terrorism, and regulatory issues associated with agricultural biotech.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.