Regional Biotech Association Warns Legislation Would Make VT Least Friendly State in Nation for Biotechnology and Life Sciences

-Testimony To Legislature Calls For Rejection Of Legislation That Will Cost Vermonters Current And Future Jobs-

MONTPELIER, Vt., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In testimony to the Legislature and a full page ad in today's Rutland Herald, the region's largest biotechnology association warned that a bill under consideration by the Vermont Legislature will create the most restrictive and onerous regulatory environment for biotechnology growth and development not only in New England, but in the entire nation. S. 48/H. 270 is the subject of a hearing in Montpelier today.

"Plain and simple, this legislation will harm Vermont's biotechnology and life sciences sector and drive jobs away," said Paula Newton, Chair of the New England Biotech Association (NEBA).

NEBA serves as the regional policy and public affairs voice for the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical community, representing state biotech associations, companies, academic institutions, and other organizations consisting of more than 800 entities.

"Vermont already has one of the strictest pharmaceutical marketing disclosure laws in the country, so the onerous regulatory regime contemplated by the Legislation is wholly unnecessary and should be defeated," continued Newton. "Physicians are trusted professionals, and introducing unreasonably broad controls and prohibitions on the interactions between the biopharmaceutical industry and doctors is unwarranted and contrary to health interests of Vermonters who stand to benefit from miracle drugs." She said the legislation would also eliminate existing protections of trade secrets, create an unneeded new state bureaucracy, and drive away research funding by mandating additional disclosure of expenditures.

Four other states, including New England states Maine and Rhode Island, have recently rejected marketing restriction legislation far less extreme than the Vermont bill, declaring the measures as bad policy with negative consequences for the life sciences industry and the jobs it produces. An overly restrictive disclosure law recently passed in Massachusetts --- less strict than the Vermont proposal -- has resulted in a drop in clinical trials and the cancellation of a major medical convention and the associated tourism and tax revenue.

NEBA is a non-profit, member-driven organization comprised of state biotech associations, companies, academic institutions, and other organizations with a collective mission to support and grow the biotechnology industry in New England.

To find out more about NEBA and view a copy of the Rutland Herald ad, visit www.newenglandbiotech.org

Posted: April 2009


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