Biotechnology Industry Organization
Web site: www.bio.org
BIO is the world's largest biotechnology organization, providing advocacy, business development and communications services for more than 1,200 members worldwide. Our mission is to be the champion of biotechnology and the advocate for our member organizations—both large and small.
News and Items of Interest
What’s going on with the biotechnology public awareness campaign?
The biotechnology public awareness campaign is a new initiative to inform people about biotechnology and how it impacts their daily lives. Our hope is to find common ground and build a strong community of people who are interested in protecting progress in areas such as finding cures for debilitating diseases, enhancing sustainable agriculture and developing clean, renewable fuels that help combat global warming. We are at our strongest when we work together.
We have built interactive websites to provide people with a place to come together, learn from one another and speak their minds.
- www.IAmBiotech.org is for those who are in the biotech community - researchers, practitioners, investors, academics etc. to connect with one another and learn about the latest advancements in biotech, discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and share their stories.
- www.WhatCanBiotechDoForYou.com is focused on educating the general public (or those who have a less-than-everyday interaction with biotechnology) about what biotech is doing to improve their daily lives. We then engage the biotech community and other groups with expertise on those issues to respond and begin a dialogue.
We hope you will use both of these sites as an opportunity to share the great work you are doing and add your perspective to the discussion. Please contribute as often as you like... once a month, or even once a week!
Want your organization to be part of a charitable giving program? We are working to launch a new feature on IAmBiotech.org. Currently, when people contribute content to IAmBiotech.org, we send them a $25 gift card as a small incentive. We would like to provide people with the opportunity to donate that $25 to the charitable organization of their choice. If you would like your organization to be considered as one of our select biotech charitable organizations, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Letters supported by ICAN
October 7, 2011
The Honorable Patty Murray
Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Murray and Congressman Hensarling:
On behalf of the undersigned patient advocacy organizations, we encourage you to
oppose proposals that would reduce Medicare payments for providers of drugs and biologics
under Medicare Part B. Any such reduction would impact the ability of patients to access quality
health care in their communities. Patients and families dealing with devastating illnesses already
face financial and emotional burdens. Enacting policies which threaten the ability of community
providers to treat such patients in high quality settings close to their homes will only compound
We understand one proposal under consideration would find budgetary savings through
lowering the Average Sales Price reimbursement methodology under Medicare Part B. The
current "ASP + 6%" reimbursement rate has worked to lower Medicare Part B costs since
enactment. But, as MedPAC has reported, even under current law "there are some drugs
[physicians] cannot purchase at the payment rate." We are very concerned that reducing Part B
reimbursement to a lower percentage will exacerbate this situation, thus increasing the likelihood
that physicians will stop providing these therapies in their communities. Of course, if physicians
decide no longer to provide such treatments, it is the patients who will ultimately suffer the most.
Additionally, any such short-term budgetary savings associated with cutting Part B
reimbursement rates could prove illusory. Should some physicians decide to no longer provide
these treatments because they can no longer purchase these therapies at the payment rate,
patients will be forced to seek care elsewhere. Many may turn to more costly sites-of-service to
receive their treatments and cures. Further, restrictions on access to these treatments may
increase costs to the federal government due to unplanned emergency medical treatments.
We urge you to maintain current reimbursement for Medicare Part B treatments and
cures. We understand the pressures you face in creating a needed deficit reduction package;
however, we believe we must achieve necessary budget savings without restricting patient access
to medically-necessary therapies and choosing policy options which may ultimately increase
federal spending in the long-term.
Alliance for Aging Research
Alliance for Patient Access
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
American Urological Association
American Urological Association Foundation
Annie Appleseed Project
Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network
Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Colon Cancer Alliance
Community Access National Network
Community Health Charities of America
Digestive Disease National Coalition
International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN)
Kidney Cancer Association
Klippel Trenaunay Support Group
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lung Cancer Alliance
Marathon of Miracles
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Fabry Disease Foundation (NFDF)
National Gaucher Foundation
National Kidney Foundation
National MPS Society
Patient Services Incorporated
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
Vital Options International
Yes! Beat Liver Tumors
ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer