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BIOLOGIC PRODUCTS SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN USP FOR MEDICARE COVERAGE

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2001) – Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today released the following statement in response to a Medicare reform press conference held by House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA):

“BIO supports this bipartisan effort led by Chairwoman Johnson and Rep. Stark to improve the Medicare system and to streamline patient access to lifesaving drugs and therapies. We agree that the Medicare system, based on health care policy from 1965, needs to be brought in line with 21st century medical and technological standards.

“BIO also strongly agrees that the Health Care Finance Administration should not require biologic products to be included in the U.S. Pharmacopeia/National Formulary for current Medicare coverage. If this new requirement were to take effect, Medicare coverage for certain biologic products would end. This would harm Medicare beneficiaries in need of these new drugs and therapies.

“We look forward to working with Reps. Stark, Johnson and groups on both sides of the political aisle to enact Medicare reform that makes sense.”

BIO represents more than 950 biotechnology companies, academicinstitutions, 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.

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