FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin


March 24, 2006

The FDA has appointed a former high-ranking official at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) to be the agency's liaison to Congress and develop the FDA's legislative proposals.

Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach recently announced the appointment of David Boyer to be the agency's new assistant commissioner for legislation. In this role, Boyer will oversee the drafting of congressional testimony, respond to congressional inquiries and assist in the development of public health legislation. Boyer has held senior positions at HHS, including most recently as special assistant for oversight in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation.

"David's legislative experience, knowledge of Capitol Hill and his work at the Department of Health and Human Services make him highly qualified for the job," said von Eschenbach. Boyer will work closely with the Office of the Commissioner.

Boyer also has served as director of federal government relations for BIO. In that capacity, Boyer led policy and strategy development on healthcare and public health issues, working closely with members of Congress, said BIO spokeswoman Kim Coghill. Boyer was particularly involved with biodefense issues while at BIO, said a source familiar with the issue.

BIO, which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers, is focusing on a number of legislative developments this year. These issues include patent reforms to provide biotechnology companies with more intellectual property protections and a push for increased R&D tax incentives to bolster innovation. The group also is working with Congress to change the way the Small Business Administration interprets eligibility standards for small business innovation research grants.

FDA officials did not respond to requests for information by FDAnews press time.