Looking Back, Looking Ahead: BIO Sets Policy Priorities for 2011

Jim's Corner

The ability of BIO members to heal, fuel, and feed the world depends on having an economic and public policy environment that supports their work.

The Therapeutic Discovery Project (TDP) program, enacted in 2010, is an example of the type of policies necessary to spur continued medical innovation, while at the same time protecting and growing high-paying U.S. jobs. The TDP program provided $1 billion in research grants and credits for small biotech companies pursuing new therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDs, Parkinson’s and MS. BIO is now calling on Congress and the Administration to work together to extend and expand the Therapeutic Discovery Project to support continued American innovation and further accelerate the development of life-saving cures.

Working closely with our members, BIO also will remain engaged as the Department of Health and Human Services moves to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Other BIO policy priorities for this year include ensuring the NIH has sufficient funding to sustain the public-private collaboration that is transforming biomedical discoveries into innovative treatments for patients. Congress must also provide the FDA with the resources it needs to keep pace with rapidly evolving biomedical science and fulfill its vital health and safety mission. Strengthening the FDA’s review process is also a focus of our ongoing discussions with policymakers about the next renewal of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act.

We will also work to maintain and expand incentives for development of renewable energy sources such as advanced biofuels and biobased products, and to uphold science-based standards for evaluating biotech innovations that increase crop yields, improve animal health and welfare, enhance the environment, and contribute to agricultural sustainability. Maintaining strong protections for intellectual property while enhancing patent quality and the objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the patent system is another important part of our agenda.

Meanwhile, along with our state affiliates, we will continue to work with states governments seeking to grow their biotech sectors as part of their economic development and job creation strategies.

Our members employ some of the most brilliant and dedicated men and women in any field. But even the smartest scientists and best businesspeople cannot succeed in developing innovative new products without the right policy environment. In 2011, BIO will continue to champion the policies that enable our members to saves lives and transform our world.

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