BIO's 'Cooperation' With Regulators

Competition Author: HENRY I. MILLER America learned long ago that what's good for General Motors isn't necessarily good for the country. This axiom applies to the biotechnology industry, as well. The biotech industry's major trade group-the monolithic, Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)-has been part of the problem, rather than the solution, on a variety of regulatory issues during the past decade. They were at it again in a big way in July. In fact, the organiz

Henry Miller
Oct 1, 1995

Competition Author: HENRY I. MILLER

America learned long ago that what's good for General Motors isn't necessarily good for the country. This axiom applies to the biotechnology industry, as well.

The biotech industry's major trade group-the monolithic, Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)-has been part of the problem, rather than the solution, on a variety of regulatory issues during the past decade. They were at it again in a big way in July. In fact, the organization-heavily influenced by industry titans like St. Louis-based Monsanto Co.; Ciba-Geigy Corp. of Greensboro, N.C.; and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, all members of BIO-has readily accepted and recently even proposed regressive, overregulatory policies that act as a market-entry barrier to smaller, highly innovative competitors.

In a Faustian bargain, big companies get market-share protection and shelter of existing products while government bureaucrats get bigger budgets and bigger empires. The smaller and...

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