BIO Responds to President Obama’s Health Care Reform Address

Calls for Congress to Support Existing Biosimilars LanguageWASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, September 09, 2009) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement in response to President Obama’s address on health care reform delivered tonight before a joint session of the U.S. Congress:

“BIO shares President Obama's goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable, sustainable, high quality health care.  Biotechnology plays an essential role in achieving this goal.  Biotechnology expands the boundaries of science by discovering, developing, and delivering innovative and needed medical products to patients. Medical innovation in health care that leads to medical advancements and breakthroughs, including health care solutions such as new therapies and diagnostics, has always been and will continue to be central to realizing our health care goals. 

“Further, market-based reforms provide the best opportunity to achieve the goal of universal access while providing high quality care and incentives for the discovery and development of innovative improvements throughout the health care delivery system.

“Through biologic medicines, therapies and diagnostic tools, biotechnology also provides the best hope for reducing the incidence of chronic disease.  In this way, biotechnology can provide measurable benefits in increased productivity, while at the same time saving the scarce health care dollars spent on treating such diseases.  Biotechnology also can provide the immeasurable benefits of saving, extending and improving the quality of life for patients living with debilitating diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

“Congress can help expand access to biologic medicines, and expand hope, by establishing a pathway for the regulatory approval of biosimilars, medicines that are similar to but not the same as pioneering biologic medicines.  Both the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the House Energy and Commerce Committees included biosimilars provisions in their health care reform bills.  These provisions received strong bipartisan support in each committee. 

“The language adopted by the committees strikes the necessary balance among expanding access and competition, ensuring patient safety and promoting continued biomedical innovation that will lead to new and improved medicines and treatments.  This language is a ‘win-win’ for the patients of today and the patients of tomorrow.

“We urge the Congress to include this biosimilars language as they continue efforts to reform our nation’s health care system.  We look forward to continuing our participation in the process of health care reform with the goal of increasing access and reducing costs while promoting the continued development of new therapies and cures.”

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO Investor Forum
October 28-29, 2009
San Francisco, CA

Advanced Business Development Course
October 30, 2009
Vienna, Austria

BIO Europe International Partnering Conference
November 2-4, 2009
Vienna, Austria

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
November 8-11, 2009
Honolulu, HI 

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.