Monday, February 23, 2009

Fierce Biotech Poll: No Bailout for Biotech

A week-long poll by an industry publication shows that most respondents do not favor a federal bailout of biotech firms, with one reader commenting that "it's all about the survival of the fittest and smartest."

The informal poll was conducted online by Fierce Biotech. It showed that 51 percent answered no to the question "Does the US biotech industry deserve a bailout?" Forty-four percent said yes. Five percent said no.

The results of the poll have some implications for the California stem cell agency and the lobbying effort by its chairman, Robert Klein, to snag $10 billion for the biotech industry. He has already hired a powerful Washington lobbyist, the Podesta Group, for $200,000 to secure the package.

Maureen Martino(see photo), editor of Fierce Biotech, wrote about the poll, quoting some persons who emailed her.

Elinor Gulve was one of those. She wrote,
"Things have to play out in nature's own course. In this industry, it's all about the survival of the fittest and smartest."
Martino said,
"Readers expressed concerns about how the money would be distributed, and whether those government dollars would come with serious strings attached. Several respondents felt that the industry deserves government support, but that it should come in the form of tax incentives and funding for agencies like the NIH--not from a handout."
The poll was not a scientific random sample, just an expression of sentiment from those who felt strongly enough about the matter to respond, Nonetheless it was a bit surprising since the respondents presumably came from the industry and had the most to gain from dollops of federal dough. Results on polls are also shaped by the wording on the questions. If the question were phrased as: Was a bailout "needed" or would it be "useful" to the industry, the results might have been different.

We wrote earlier about this poll after it had been up for only a few days. The early trend was about the same as the final results after seven days. Sphere: Related Content

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