In its key recommendations, the President's Council onCompetitiveness report:

-- Advises the Bush Administration to oppose any legislationaimed at changing the oversight of biotechnology, and suggeststhat the Administration develop regulations instead.

-- Opposes legislative changes to the Orphan Drug Act anddirects the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that drugsgiven orphan drug designation are for truly rare diseases.

-- Supports legislation to improve the protection ofbiotechnology process patents (such as the amended form of abill introduced during the last Congress by Rep. Rick Boucher,D-Va.).

-- Calls for a White House biotechnology working group todevelop a single set of regulations to fill the gaps in the 1986Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology.

-- Directs the Department of Health and Human Services toissue guidelines requiring federally funded biomedicalresearchers to fully disclose financial ties with companieswhose products they are testing.

-- Calls for further study of tax issues, such as credits for smallbusinesses and companies involved in research anddevelopment, that affect biotechnology.

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