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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Public Policy Year-In-Review

  • 2020-12-03T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

As We Close Out 2020…

In the year-end edition of the Biocom California’s Policy Newsletter, you will find that, not surprisingly, whether you are in Washington DC, Sacramento, the Bay Area micro-hubs, Los Angeles, or San Diego, the singular issue that dominated the Biocom California’s policy staff’s attention was the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before we get to that, the policy team has some exciting news to share. We are expanding our department family! In this newsletter, we introduce Mitzy De La Peña Medina, Biocom’s new Bay Area Policy Associate. We are excited to expand our policy services in the Bay Area, and know Mitzy is a great addition to our team who our Bay Area members will come to rely on. You can read more about her here.

Back to the topic of the year. Biocom California’s team worked tirelessly to keep up with developments in Washington DC, Sacramento, and the regional governments we engage with. New state and local emergency orders are announced with little notice and often go into effect at midnight that same day, so we have continuously sought clarification from government while dispersing timely information to our members.

In our local recap, we discuss numerous ways we were the conduit for the very latest news and convened our members to share and review best practices for addressing employee safety and ever-changing government orders. We worked closely with local governments in each service region to ensure decision makers understood the special needs of life science companies during an extraordinary time.

In the state recap, we review the State Legislature’s pandemic-related actions, and Biocom California efforts to clarify consumer privacy laws with respect to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) discrepancies. Biocom California took a leading role in educating state lawmakers and staff about the industry’s multi-faceted pandemic response, and secured vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for our members free of charge from the California Department of Emergency Services.

In our federal recap, we discuss Biocom California’s ongoing efforts to ensure essential worker designation for life science employees, access to pandemic assistance programs for life science companies, and patients’ access to care and medicines. We also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the science revolution it catalyzed, and continued to fight proposals that would hurt innovation such as most-favored nation, march-in rights, and compulsory licensing. You will learn about how Biocom California staff and members directly interact with Members of Congress and staff to educate them about our issues.

2020 has been a year of victories and tragic losses. It has also shined an unprecedented spotlight on the life science industry, further proving its contributions to the public good and economic resilience. We in Biocom California’s Policy Department thank you for allowing us to advocate for your interests, and for your contributions to our efforts. Warm regards for a safe and reflective holiday season, and a new year that will bring us all back together with a deeper sense of gratitude.