Legislative Hopes, Fears

Biotechnology advances are poised now more than ever to help policymakers achieve their goals of supporting innovation in health care, renewable energy, and green technologies. How can they help us?

Here are our six hopes (and one big concern) for the term ahead.

HOPE 1: Cultivate an atmosphere for patient access to our products
While the Congress considers finding savings, do it in a way that does not threaten patient access to drug products by changes to Medicare’s Part B and D

HOPE 2: a strong new Farm Bill
Numerous biotech companies are in the agricultural space, and they need regulatory reforms that ensure a predictable and efficient review process for new biotech crops. The Farm Bill, passed every five to seven years by Congress, is legislation that sets the direction for farm and food policy. This bill should also include reauthorization and mandatory funding for bioenergy programs1.

HOPE 3: Defending the Renewable Fuel standard (RFs)
Many of our companies are involved in creating cellulosic biofuels, a promising domestic source of fuel, and a source for thousands of new jobs. We welcomed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of proposed RFS rules and volume projections for 2013 in January, and we are working with the EPA to finalize these rules.

HOPE 4: tax reform that aligns with spurring innovation
A large number of biotech companies developing advanced, innovative products to help cure diseases are struggling to find financing. We want to work with Congress to ensure that there are incentives in tax reform for continued innovation.

HOPE 5. adequate funding for the FDA and NIH to fulfill their missions
Both these agencies do crucial work to improve human health and assure the safety of our drug products. It’s vital that they get the resources and support they need.

HOPE 6: the creation of a universal national standard for electronic track-and-trace
Both the FDA and industry need a singular universal national standard to track prescription drugs, from manufacturer to patient, to replace the potential of 50 different systems.

BIG CONCERN: Diminished incentives for continued medical innovation
Any economic measure that has the consequence of destabilizing intellectual property, reducing basic research, limiting public health agencies, removing incentives to innovate, or, most importantly, threatening patient/consumer access to the benefits of biotechnology is a serious concern. We need the right landscape to heal, feed, and fuel the world.

References: 1. A version of the Farm Bill was introduced June 20,
2012 in a previous session of the House but was not passed: http://
www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr5973. Another version was
passed by the Senate on July 10, 2012. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgibin/bdquery/D?d112:10:./temp/~bdFZzN::|/home/LegislativeData.
php?n=BSS;c=112

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