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Public Policy Newsletter

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Federal Affairs

Biocom to Host Treating Cancer with Genomics Briefing on Capitol Hill
On July 25, Biocom will host a congressional briefing entitled “Treating Cancer with Genomics” to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the use of genomics to treat cancer patients. The event is sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific and hosted in cooperation with California Congressmen John Garamendi and Scott Peters.

Attendees will learn about ongoing oncology research, precision medicine and genomic tools to treat cancer, next-generation sequencing and its applications, benefits to patients, and barriers to the large-scale adoption of these therapies. Speakers include representatives of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Ignyta, the Alliance for Patient Access, and Friends of Cancer Research. For more details and to register, click here.

Biocom Applauds House Passage of the FDA Reauthorization Act
On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.2430, the FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017. The bill reauthorizes the prescription drug, medical device, generic drug, and biosimilar user fee agreements, which are set to expire on September 30, 2017. The bill had been approved unanimously at the committee level on June 7.

“California is a world leader in biomedical innovation, generating $317 billion in annual economic activity and supporting more than 1 million jobs. The reauthorization of FDA user fee agreements is essential to ensuring that FDA is well-funded and can continue to review and approve life-saving products for the more than 12,000 life science establishments that call California home. We urge the Senate to follow the House and approve legislation in a timely manner”, said Panetta. Click here to view the full release.

Every five years, the FDA and industry negotiate new user fee agreements. Industry agrees to pay higher fees in exchange for FDA’s commitment to reviewing products faster and meeting other performance goals. Over the years, those agreements have helped reduce backlogs at the FDA, introduced new approval pathways, fostered the development of innovative technologies, and improved patient engagement, among others. 

Biocom is now urging the Senate to vote on the bill to ensure that patients continue to have timely access to breakthrough products.

Biocom Co-Hosts Washington Event on Drug Cost and Value
On July 13, 2017, Biocom, along with eight other state life science associations, hosted a Congressional briefing entitled “The Cost and Value of Prescription Medicines.” The goal of the event was to educate congressional staff about this timely and complex topic, especially as it remains a focus of lawmakers.

The event offered a comprehensive overview of the American drug pricing ecosystem and the multitude of actors involved, from drug manufacturers and insurance companies to pharmacy benefits managers and wholesalers. Participants also learned about the cost of bringing new drugs to market, value-based medicine, drug pricing policies, and patients’ access to medicines.

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Speakers included Aaron Vandervelde, MBA, Managing Director, Berkeley Research Group; A. Mark Fendrick, MD, Director, Center for Value-Based Insurance Design, Professor of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan; and Jeanne Haggerty, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Upcoming Public Policy Events
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Sep
7
Bay Area Sustainability Panel
Thursday
September 7, 2017
12:00 PM
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Sep
18
Annual Biocom PAC Elected Officials Reception
Monday
September 18, 2017
4:00 PM
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Sep
20
North City Pure Water & Reclamation Plant Tour
Wednesday
September 20, 2017
1:00 PM