Montgomery County Council members Tom Perez and Howard A. Denis are cavalier in their disregard of stern warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the risks of re-importing drugs from Canada [letters, Aug. 7]. They seem willing to dismiss serious potential safety, legal and liability issues that could result from a county-run re-importation program.

They also wrongly asserted that the program "will not cost the county's biotech industry a penny." This program could severely limit the industry's access to investment capital -- the lifeblood of small companies without products on the market.

If investors perceive a threat to return on investment, they may well look for other options. This was the case during the debate on health care reform in the early '90s, when talk of uniform health care and price controls had investors fleeing the biotech sector.

Mr. Perez and Mr. Denis are correct in saying that this is all about politics. But the political mileage they are getting out of this issue could come at the expense of one of Montgomery County's largest employers, the biotechnology industry.

PATRICK M. KELLY

Vice President,

State Government Relations

Biotechnology Industry Organization

Washington

DYAN BRASINGTON

President

Technology Council of Maryland

Rockville