WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2001) - Sharon L. Cohen, vice president for health care policy at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today labeled President Bush's Medicare principles a positive step towards workable Medicare drug coverage for America's seniors:

"The President's principles for Medicare drug coverage legislation, released this
morning at a White House press event, rely on private sector delivery mechanisms, increasing beneficiary choice, modernization of the Medicare program, maintaining Medicare's solvency, and providing stop loss protection for beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket prescription drug costs."

According to Cohen, the President's principles "recognize important aspects of how
to provide Medicare coverage for prescription drugs and biologics without unnecessary and burdensome government control.

"We are looking forward to working with both the White House and Congress to
pass Medicare prescription drug coverage legislation that makes sense," Cohen concluded.

In addition, the drug discount card proposed by the President is an example of how to
build on current marketplace mechanisms.

BIO represents more than 950 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state
biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.