– Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) has been named “Legislator of the Year” by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) – the largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions and related organizations across the United States. Lance, a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee and chair of the Congressional Rare Disease Caucus, was selected for his record as one of the top lawmakers on Capitol Hill fighting for the priorities of the life science sector: biomedical innovation, bringing new cures to market and delivering high quality care to patients.
“I am honored by this recognition. The 21st century will see cures for some of the world’s most pressing health challenges as long as the biotechnology and life science sector are empowered to innovate,” said Lance after the presentation. “That is part of my mission in Congress, to work to ensure medical advancements and treatments that are being designed by scientists and doctors in New Jersey and across our Nation are delivered to the patients who await their genius. We must work to deliver the tools and resources to public and private industry to spur the research and collaborations that will improve the health of the world.”
Debbie Hart, the President and CEO of BioNJ, added, “Congressman Lance has been a long-time supporter of the life sciences industry in New Jersey and across the country. His recent legislation, including the FDA Safety Over Sequestration Act, which would exempt privately paid user fees used by the FDA from any future budget sequestration operations, and the Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network (MODDERN) Cures Act, which would encourage the discovery and development of new treatments for the many diseases that have few or no options, illustrates his ability to work across the aisle and achieve bipartisan consensus on these important issues. He is a true champion for patients, for innovation, and for the research and development that will find the cures for the many diseases that have few or no options.”
“As a champion of America’s biotechnology industry, Representative Lance has distinguished himself for leadership and support of a number of critically important issues, including Medicare Part B, Medicare Part D, and the release of sequestered of FDA user fees,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “We furthermore commend his leadership in introducing the FDA Safety Over Sequestration Act, legislation that protects privately-paid user fees paid to the FDA from any future sequestration. This is an important step in ensuring prompt review of innovative new medicines through an adequately-funded FDA.”
BIO specifically recognized Lance for his leadership on:
+ Protecting Medicare Part B – An essential program for those who rely on physician and nursing services, diagnostic tests and physician-administered medicines
+ Protecting Medicare Part D – Stopping administration changes to how many senior citizens receive life-saving and life-enhancing medications
+ Introduction of the MODDERN Cures Act – Legislation that promotes the development of meaningful treatments for patients with chronic and rare diseases
+ His work on the 21st Century Cures Initiative – Major legislation that will close gaps in the cycle of discovery, development and delivery of new treatment and cures
+ Protecting the Food and Drug Administration from sequestration – Working to stop private funds from being cut from approving new innovations
“The health of the Nation depends on a vibrant biotechnology and life science sector. We share the same priorities of advancing high quality patient care,” Lance concluded.