Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, has joined the ranks of biotechnologysupporters.

In a letter released last week, Kerry asked President Clinton totreat the biotechnology industry separately from thepharmaceutical industry on the issue of price controls as heformulates national health care reform because ofbiotechnology's dependence on risk capital.

"Unfortunately, the debate (over health care reform) hasexacerbated the financial vulnerability of one of our mostpromising industries, biotechnology, by creating fears thatprofits in this industry will disappear as a result of pricecontrols intended to reduce overall drug prices," Kerry wrote.

Kerry, who wrote that he shares Clinton's passion for healthcare reform, in his letter demonstrated a comprehensiveunderstanding of the pricing issues facing biotechnology, aswell as the controversies over pharmaceutical prices. Kerry is amember of the Biotechnology Caucus, a bipartisan group ofcongressional biotechnology supporters. -- David C. Holzman

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.