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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Biocom Continues to Support Members as Policymakers Respond to COVID-19

  • 2020-09-24T14:30:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

Earlier this month, President Trump issued a long-anticipated Executive Order on drug pricing, about which Biocom rapidly issued a response, strongly rejecting the policy, on behalf of its members. The order has significant implications for the life science industry. Contrary to prior indications that it would only affect drugs administered in a clinical setting, the Executive Order applies foreign price controls to drugs covered in both Medicare Part B and Part D.

If fully implemented, this order is likely to have a chilling impact on investment in early and mid-stage companies by requiring companies to sell to the US government at the lowest price it sells to other countries, including those that use the threat of patent nationalization to secure lower prices. Biocom is staying at the forefront of this threat to the industry. Read more about the Executive Order here.

In other federal news, Biocom is seeking member input on two possible comment letters we may submit on behalf of our member companies: a CMS proposal to establish a Medicare coverage pathway for innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the FDA, and CMS’ proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program for 2021, which updates the payment rates for physician services and expands the list of telehealth services that Medicare covers. Please see the articles on these items to learn how you can insure your company’s views are considered in these comments.

On the regional front, Biocom recently hosted a City of San Diego mayoral forum on September 17 with candidates Councilmember Barbara Bry and Assemblyman Todd Gloria. The candidates both proved well-versed on the industry and its needs, and a very robust discussion was had. In the Bay Area, Biocom held the latest edition of our “Back to Work” webinar series, this one specifically addressing the unique needs of Bay Area Facilities and EH&S professionals handling physical and people planning for COVID-19 adaptation. For a summary of the discussion, click here.

On the state level, Biocom co-hosted a briefing for policy makers on the industry’s efforts on development of a vaccine for COVID-19, the second Sacramento-focused event Biocom has done on the Coronavirus and the industry’s response. Speaking of policy makers, the State Legislature has adjourned for the year, and we provide you with an update on legislation of interest to the industry signed into law or awaiting action on the Governor’s desk, from new notification worksite requirements if an employee tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 to potential new requirements for diversity on corporate boards.