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BIO Names Sen. Rick Santorum a Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2004) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) as a 2003-2004 "Legislator of the Year." The award was presented during the opening reception of BIO's annual Legislative Day event.

"As a member of the Senate Biotech Caucus and through his role in the Senate leadership, Senator Santorum has been a long-time friend of the biotech industry, who has championed its initiatives on numerous occasions both in Congress and in his home state of Pennsylvania," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum.

"Senator Santorum's dedication to ensuring that America's seniors have access to the best medicines available has been demonstrated in his steadfast commitment to creating a meaningful Medicare prescription drug benefit based on private-sector delivery options and in his opposition to allowing the importation of potentially unsafe medicines across U.S. borders.

"Senator Santorum has a proven record of support for America's up-and-coming biotech companies. Last fall he introduced S. 1773, 'The Biotechnology Future Investment Act of 2003,' which will encourage investment in small biotech companies and accelerate the growth of biomedical research."

"He is also a staunch supporter of the American farmer and for promoting fair and free trade," 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. Participants will discuss a number of important issues, including 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.

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