BIO officials oppose funding cuts in president's proposed 2017 budget
"Elements of the president’s budget proposal for 2017 directly threaten his administration’s goal of curing cancer through advances in precision medicine," Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood said. "The budget’s proposed changes to biologic data exclusivity, cuts to Medicare Part D and B, emphasis on switching patients to the lowest cost treatment -- as opposed to the drug that their doctors think are best for them -- will significantly and negatively affect the development of innovative medicines, particularly biological products needed to provide the foundation for the administration's 'moonshot' initiative."
Greenwood stated that the budget cuts may also hinder biomedical companies' ability to recoup investments in medical innovation, which could make it difficult for patients to access treatment for diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
“We oppose cuts or changes to Medicare Parts B and D, which are both working well to ensure patient access to life-changing and life-saving therapies," Greenwood said. "We should not disrupt these successful programs by making arbitrary changes that will put at risk patient access to necessary medicines."
The cuts could also increase medical research costs, Greenwood suggested.
"The administration’s proposal to reduce the period of regulatory data protection for innovative biologics manufacturers will jeopardize the careful, overwhelmingly bipartisan balance established in the law to reduce costs, expand access and encourage continued innovation -- innovation that creates good, high-paying biotech jobs and leads to breakthrough therapies and cures," he said. "This repeated attempt in every proposed administration budget paints a target on the very innovation that holds the greatest promise for the future."
Another proposed cut would affect the Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority's (BARDA's) pandemic influenza program.
"There are elements within the president’s budget we find critically important," Greenwood said. "These include continued funding for support of the president’s signature Precision Medicine and BRAIN Initiatives, as well as increased funding for innovative R&D, specifically basic research and advanced manufacturing technology. Investing in the next generation of modern medicines will help to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of breakthrough cures and treatments that can save and improve lives."
Greenwood said BIO officials were behind the agricultural research funding designed to assist farmers with climate-related challenges by developing seeds and improving sustainability.
"These include crops, plants and trees that can tolerate environmental stresses and resist disease," he said. "In addition, we have seen innovations in animal biotechnology that enhance animal health, contribute to a more sustainable food supply and provide life-saving human health therapies."
Greenwood said BIO officials also backed investments for clean energy.
"BIO supports the administration’s request to extend authorization of previous appropriations for the USDA’s bio-refinery loan guarantees, which are vital to helping renewable chemical and advanced biofuel producers secure capital for large-scale, job-creating projects in rural areas," he said. "BIO additionally supports the budget requests to continue the successful Navy/USDA/DOE collaboration that is supporting production and procurement of advanced biofuels for the U.S. military."
Organizations in this story
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) 1201 Maryland Ave SW Washington, DC - 20024