September 13, 2001
Lisa J. Raines, a Lobbyist for Biotechnology, Is Dead at 42
By ANDREW POLLACK
Lisa J. Raines, one of the earliest and most prominent lobbyists for the biotechnology industry, died on Tuesday in the crash of the hijacked airplane that hit the Pentagon. She was 42 and lived in Great Falls, Va.
Ms. Raines was senior vice president for government relations at the Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Mass. She was flying from Washington to Los Angeles aboard American Airlines Flight 77 to attend a company sales meeting in Palm Springs, Calif.
Ms. Raines played a role in shaping virtually all of the laws affecting the biotechnology industry over more than a decade, including laws that strengthened patent protection and accelerated the approval of drugs by the Food and Drug Administration.
Henri A. Termeer, the chief executive of Genzyme, said that when the F.D.A. Modernization Act of 1997 was signed into law, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of of Massachusetts, gave the pen he received from President Bill Clinton to Ms. Raines for her role in pushing for the law, which streamlined the drug approval process.
Ms. Raines sometimes was at odds with people who complained that drug prices were too high. Genzyme charges more than $150,000 a year for its drug for Gaucher disease, a rare inherited disorder. But Ms. Raines always argued that the high price was necessary to encourage innovation and bring new treatments to market.
"Ninety percent of the time we were on the opposite sides, but you had to have the utmost respect for her," said Abbey Meyers, president of the National Organization for Rare Disorders, an advocacy group for people with rare diseases.
Many who knew her said Ms. Raines was persuasive, whether on Capitol Hill or around the family dinner table. "When she was convinced of something she would argue you into the ground," Ms. Meyers said. "I could imagine her on that plane," she added, referring to the hijacked airline. "She isn't the type who would have sat in her seat."
Ms. Raines is survived by her husband, Stephen Push, a former vice president for corporate communications at Genzyme; her father, Arthur Raines of Lovettsville, Va.; her mother, Marilyn Raines of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and a brother, Douglas Raines, of Wayland, Mass.
Editorial Obituary published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 13, 2001.