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PROPOSED HCFA "NEW TECHNOLOGY" RULE MISSES MARK FOR STREAMLINING MEDICARE DRUG REIMBURSEMENT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 8, 2001) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President Carl B. Feldbaum said today that HCFA’s proposed “New Technology” rule for drug reimbursement is a strong start to reforming Medicare, but falls short of what’s needed to bring cutting-edge medical treatments to Medicare patients.

“The HCFA rule, while a well-intentioned attempt at streamlining Medicare patient access to new biotechnology drugs and treatments, actually creates a new set of hurdles in a process already fraught with bureaucratic red tape,” said Feldbaum.

Under the proposed rule, a new drug or other medical technologywould have to meet a new set of criteria for Medicare reimbursement. While classification as a “New Technology” opens the door for better Medicare reimbursement for cutting-edge treatments, it still falls short of what is needed.

“BIO applauds HCFA’s attempt to accelerate the integration of new technology into Medicare,” said Feldbaum. “BIO will continue to work closely with HCFA to create ways to bring life-saving biotechnology drugs and therapies to those Medicare patients who need them.”

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.# # #