December 14, 2023

An End-of-Year Recap on Policies Shaping the Life Science Industry

Policy Update from Washington, D.C.

By Zoe Bilis, Associate Manager of Regulatory Policy; and Richard White, Manager of Federal Advocacy

2023 was a reauthorization year for several federal statutes very important to our industry, including the Pandemics and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and the Farm Bill. Biocom California worked closely with the House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction to ensure our members’ priorities are being considered as reauthorization rolls into next year. Biocom California continued to work on mitigating the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act by engaging with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as implementation continues and supporting legislative fixes to key issues in Washington. Biocom California has also been outspoken in our advocacy to find a solution to a detrimental change in tax law that limits R&D expensing. Biocom California was also instrumental in creating direct interactions between our members and Members of Congress as well as agency officials in order to share experiences and improve the innovation ecosystem.

Policy Update from Sacramento

By Claire Conlon, Sr. Director of State Government Affairs

Biocom California member companies enjoyed a strong year in the California State Legislature. We fought to ensure an animal testing bill was amended to exempt medical research from the bill’s provisions, which is needed to protect life-saving medical research, like drug development. A number of healthcare bills introduced by both houses of the Legislature demonstrates a willingness to stand with patients and a focus on increasing access to life-saving innovations. Biomarker testing will now be more accessible, pharmacogenomic testing will be added as a benefit in the Medi-Cal schedule of benefits. Unfortunately, an insulin co-payment price cap bill supported by Biocom California and patient advocacy groups was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Biocom California and member companies participated in roundtable discussions with four Legislative Select Committees in 2023, strengthening relationships with our elected leaders and increasing visibility surrounding the policy issues that will increase innovation and success in the life science industry.

Policy Update from San Diego, Los Angeles, and Bay Area

By Melanie Cohn, Sr. Director, Regional Policy and Government Affairs

We continue to hear from local decision makers that they are interested in incentivizing life science industry growth in their cities and counties. Some exciting changes that Biocom California has been part of putting into place in 2023 include a new life science ombudsperson appointed by the County of Los Angeles, a package of land use zoning changes in Pasadena, San Diego’s new Life Science Industry Pilot Program for building permits, and Redwood City and Berkeley identifying additional parcels for life science. We helped to educate policy makers on new proposals related to Biosafety Levels, vivariums, and building electrification. Through a state-wide housing shortage, we advocated for additional homes to be built for the life science workforce.