BIO Supports Doubling NIH Budget over Five Years

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 1998) In supporting a 15 percent increase for the FY 1999 budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and doubling the budget over five years, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) joins the efforts of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding, a coalition of nearly 200 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations and industry representatives.

BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum released this statement to voice BIO's support for the coalition, which held a press conference today where Senators Connie Mack (R-FL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Arlen Specter (R-PA), other members of the House and Senate, and actors Christopher Reeve and Mary Tyler Moore are scheduled to speak.

"BIO will press Congress to double the NIH budget over five years, an ambitious goal which requires annual increases of 15 percent for the next five years," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. "Federal funding of NIH and other biomedical research agencies provides a critical foundation for research into therapies and cures for diseases such as AIDS, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer's."

"Our industry wants to continue to secure licenses to NIH-funded basic research to develop new therapies and cures. The biotechnology industry is more than willing to pay royalties on any sales on products which result from the research. This partnership is a fundamental reason why the U.S. leads the world in biomedical research and development," Feldbaum said.

BIO represents over 770 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and state biotechnology centers in 46 states and more than 25 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.