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May 10, 2012

Mr. Timothy M. Goldfarb
Chief Executive Officer
Shands Hospital
Post Office Box 100326
Gainesville, Florida 32610

Dear Mr. Goldfarb:

Since 2007, Florida taxpayers have funded between $30 – $50 million annually for cancer and biomedical research. This funding has helped support ongoing research programs at three cancer centers and funded smaller grants to individuals, educational institutions and private organizations.

For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the Legislature allocated an additional $41 million for biomedical research, of which $20 million is designated for three cancer centers:

  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute – $5,000,000
  • Shands Cancer Hospital – $7,500,000
  • Sylvester Cancer Center at the University of Miami – $7,500,000

I consider the state’s investment in the research and treatment of cancer a key priority, both for its potential to improve the quality of life of Floridians and for the positive impact a strong biomedical community can have on the state’s economy.

However, to maintain a robust and competitive environment in this area, I believe a fair and balanced playing field for all organizations is essential. Private organizations that are financially supported by the state should not have an unfair advantage over other entities that not similarly supported. To that end, I will be implementing a strategy of accountability and performance measurement for all entities that receive state dollars for their work in cancer treatment and biomedical research. The requirements I will ask of the state’s cancer centers receiving state funding include the following:

  • Organizations receiving state biomedical research funds may not franchise their name or brand to other private entities.
  • Organizations receiving state biomedical research funds may not receive royalties or other remuneration from other private entities in exchange for the use of their name or brand.
  • The terms of any affiliate or partnership relationship between an organization receiving biomedical research funds and other private entities must be disclosed as part of the organization’s regular reporting to the Department of Health.
  • Future eligibility to receive state biomedical research funds will be contingent on compliance with these terms.

These conditions are not meant to be punitive or to stifle innovation, but rather to foster a healthy and viable climate for growth and development in the area of biomedical research and cancer treatment in Florida. I am dedicated to improving the quality of cancer research and treatment within our great state. To that end, l will be asking our partners in this field to come together over the next several months to develop a comprehensive cancer policy to further elevate Florida’s ability to fight this disease. I look forward to your contributions to upcoming discussion.

Thank you for the valuable contributions your organization has already made to Florida – and I look forward to an even stronger partnership in the future.

Sincerely,

Rick Scott

Governor

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