WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 10, 2001) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President Carl B. Feldbaum today issued the following statement after congressional budget approval of $300 billion earmarked for a Medicare prescription drug benefit:

“This bipartisan budget approval by Congress sends a strong signal that it is serious about crafting Medicare prescription drug legislation. That’s good news for all citizens, especially for seniors.

“Through the efforts of Bill Thomas (R-CA), Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-T), Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), Sen. John Breaux (D-CA), and others, there can be sincere attempts to create a prescription drug benefit with stop-loss protection for out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors in addition to other possible subsidies.

“Several leaders of the Senate and House, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-IA) and House Budget Committee Chair Jim Nussle (R-IA) have worked hard to expedite passage of the budget, which includes a significant increase over last year’s $40 billion mark.”

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.

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