SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BIOCOM, the association for the Southern California life science community, today announced the endorsement of Congressman Brian Bilbray for Congress in the newly drawn 52nd District, which includes a large portion of the northern section of the City of San Diego, as well as the cities of Coronado and Poway.
"Representative Bilbray's record in Congress has been one of unparalleled support for the life science industry, one of San Diego County's main economic drivers," said Joe Panetta, President and CEO of BIOCOM. "From support of basic research to helping to reform the FDA so patients can get access to life-saving treatments earlier to supporting the emerging field of biorenewables, Congressman Brian Bilbray has been a champion of the life sciences industry and of San Diego. In fact, Brian was BIOCOM's 2011 Legislator of the Year for all of his efforts on behalf of the industry. He has also repeatedly shown the ability and leadership to reach across the aisle to accomplish things in a bipartisan manner. BIOCOM is very proud to support him."
Congressman Bilbray holds a coveted seat on the important House Energy and Commerce Committee, a committee where the issues most important to the life science community are generally first heard. Congressman Bilbray has also worked with BIOCOM on the Prescription Drug and Medical Device User Fee Acts reauthorizations that were enacted as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012. Congressman Bilbray specifically worked with BIOCOM on insuring there was a pathway of accelerated review for breakthrough therapies and a clear process for low risk medical devices to be reviewed and approved ("de-novo"), two subjects that were at risk of not being included in the final legislation.
Congressman Bilbray also introduced legislation which would repeal the medical device tax adopted as part of the Affordable Care Act; because it is based solely on receipts, this tax threatens many small and mid size medical device companies which are barely profitable or not yet profitable. Additionally, the Congressman has been an outspoken supporter of consistent funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and was responsible for bringing NIH Director Francis Collins to San Diego for an interactive meeting with stakeholders.
BIOCOM is one of the largest regional life science associations in the world, representing more than 560 member companies in Southern California. The association focuses on initiatives that position the region's life science industry competitively on the world stage, and on the development and delivery of innovative products that improve health and quality of life. For more information on BIOCOM or the Southern California biotechnology and medical device community, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.biocom.org or call (858) 455-0300.