Biotechnology Industry Concerned About Massachusetts Gift Ban Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, July 31, 2008) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is concerned that revised language for the Act to Control Cost Containment, Transparency and Efficiency in the Delivery of Quality Health Care (Senate Bill 2863) could stifle life science innovation in the Commonwealth.
“The provisions in SB 2863 are very problematic for the biotechnology industry,” said Patrick Kelly, Vice President of State Government Relations for BIO.
“Massachusetts is one of the leading biotechnology states in the nation. Governor Deval Patrick, Senator Therese Murray and Speaker Salvatore DiMasi have been exemplary leaders in enhancing and expanding Massachusetts’ global stature as one of the world’s most vibrant biotech clusters. The passage of the $1 billion Life Science Initiative sent a clear signal to the rest of the country, and the world, that Massachusetts intends to further enhance its position as a center of excellence for life science research and development.
“We are concerned that this language is incongruous with the intent of the Life Science Initiative,” said Kelly. “On one hand, the state is investing $1 billion to enhance the development of innovative new treatments and create new companies that will employ a high-skill, high-wage workforce in the Commonwealth. On the other hand, if this bill becomes law, the state would restrict the ability of biotechnology companies to educate the physicians whose use of these new technologies could ultimately save patients’ lives.
“This measure would particularly hamper the potential of small biotech companies that are just coming to market with new therapies,” continued Kelly. “This bill would favor companies with established relationships with physicians at the expense of small companies and the many patients who could benefit from new biotech therapies.”
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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.