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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Life Science Innovation Leads World Out of Pandemic, Challenges Could be Ahead

  • 2021-03-25T15:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

This month marks a year of pandemic lockdown, a year of unprecedented tragedies and challenges, but also a year that showed the incredible role of the life science industry in delivering life-saving solutions in a time of crisis. Every facet of the industry, from startups to large companies, came together to respond to the pandemic, leading to patients around the world already having access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Unfortunately, Congress and the Administration are threatening to stifle the very ecosystem of innovation that has brought so much progress in the past year while the world continues to look to our industry to end this pandemic.

In this month’s issue, you will learn about a Vital Transformation report commissioned by Biocom California, the California Life Sciences Association and the Council of State Bioscience Associations, which shows the devastating impact of implementing a foreign pricing index model, as proposed in H.R. 3, legislation that passed in the House in 2019. The report estimates that H.R. 3 would reduce the development of new medicines by small California companies by 88% and cut 32,000 jobs.

You can also learn how Biocom California, in partnership with many other industry, provider, and patient groups successfully fought back against a rule that sought to waive a Medicare policy which guarantees coverage for drug treatments in six protected classes, which treat diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and mental illnesses. This tremendous pushback led to the policy being withdrawn.

In Southern California news, two exciting events are coming up in San Diego and Thousand Oaks. Biocom California will host discussions about exciting life science growth in downtown San Diego and the City of Thousand Oaks – what is causing the industry to boom in these areas, and how can local government boost these efforts?

At the state level, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that Californians 50+ are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19 on April 1, with 16+ added on April 15. Also, those in the Bay Area are invited to a roundtable with Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin to discuss state policy issues of interest to Biocom California member executives.