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Political Science

Biotechnology’s steady hand in Washington.

By trading industry promises and political power, biotechnology’s chief lobbyist, Carl Feldbaum, has steadily gained access and influence for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, or BIO, in a capital where controversies range from health care reform to genetic privacy.

Carl Feldbaum; Copyright © 2004 Acumen Sciences, LLC, All Rights Reserved.A lawyer and a former U.S. Senate staffer, Mr. Feldbaum is president of a 1,100-member, $40-million-a-year association that he helped found in 1993. With a presence in every congressional district and offices overseas, BIO meetings attract up to 15,000 people each, and last year’s speakers included President George W. Bush, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Mark McClellan (see “D.C. Cowboy,” page 124 of Acumen, Volume II, Issue 1), and Hollywood actors.

Mr. Feldbaum frets about biotech’s growing pains, especially as small startups mature into full-fledged pharmaceutical companies. “Originally BIO focused on small companies and financing, but lately we’re tackling drug reimbursements. And this puts us in the firefight along with big pharma. We have to be very careful not to become the villain.”

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People

Mark McClellan

Susan Greenfield

» Carl Feldbaum

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