Rep. Mike Ferguson Named a BIO Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2004) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) as a 2003-2004 "Legislator of the Year" in connection with its Legislative Day event. The honor was presented today in the Congressman's office during a constituent meeting with biotech executives.

"As a member of the House Biotechnology Caucus and the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Representative Ferguson has been a strong proponent for providing patient access to innovative biotech medicines," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum. "His support for the Medicare prescription drug legislation signed into law last fall will help ensure that more patients will benefit from the therapies created by our industry.

"And his unwavering support for increased funding for medical research will help the biotech industry find treatments and cures for such life-threatening diseases as breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and AIDS," Feldbaum added.

More than 200 congressional meetings with more than 150 biotechnology industry representatives are expected to be conducted on Capitol Hill during the BIO Legislative Day event. Participants will discuss a number of important topics, including tax incentives for biomedical research, funding threats facing emerging biotech companies, the risks associated with drug importation, Medicare coverage of off-label drugs, and regulatory issues associated with agricultural biotech.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.