Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chiang SB 1565 Text: Support for Stricter Oversight

Here is the text of the letter from California's top financial officer, Controller John Chiang, endorsing SB 1565, which is aimed an ensuring affordable access to CIRM-financed therapies. It would also require an independent study of the stem cell agency next year along with recommendations for changes in its operations. The Chiang letter was sent to state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, author of the legislation, which has passed the Senate and is now before the Assembly.

"I write in support of Senate Bill 1565, legislation to help ensure that uninsured and low-income Californians have access to affordable therapies and medications resulting from the State's $6 billion investment in stem cell research. This bill will codify the intellectual property standards for stem cell grant recipients promulgated by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), requiring each grantee to submit a plan that will afford uninsured Californians access to any drug that is, in whole or in part, the result of research funded by the CIRM.

"SB 1565 also requires the Little Hoover Commission to conduct a study of the governance structure of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. As chair of the Citizens Financial Accountability and Oversight Committee (CFAOC), which was created by Proposition 71 to oversee the finances of the publicly funded stem cell research program, I welcome stricter accountability and oversight in order to ensure the public's confidence in the stem cell program.

"Thank you for introducing SB 1565, and I applaud your efforts to provide Californians with better access to potentially lifesaving research and cures."

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