2020 Policy Priorities

The CBSA team leads policy efforts on behalf of the life sciences ecosystem and our members, who dedicate their careers to changing and saving lives with health innovations, products, and services.

We work to create a pro-innovation policy environment that enables the growth of the life sciences community and the development of breakthrough treatments and cures for patients.

State Policy Priorities

Protect Patient Access to Health Innovation

CBSA works to ensure patients have access to the therapies and technologies they need. To support this commitment, CBSA advances proposals that enhance competition, create opportunities for negotiation, and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. 

Strengthen Incentives for Innovation

CBSA advocates for a public policy environment that supports incentives for innovation and offers predictability on the path from research to market. CBSA works to ensure that any new legislative or regulatory proposals will not impede research, place undue burden on the industry, or have unintended consequences for our members. 

Increase Capital and Growth

CBSA fosters the growth of successful access to capital programs, including the Advanced Industries Accelerator GranProgram, the Advanced Industries Investment Tax Credit, and the Advanced Industries Export Program. CBSA advocates to bring new investments to Colorado and explore new funding models that could attract additional public and private capital. 

Promote a Supportive Tax and Regulatory Environment

CBSA advocates for proposals to strengthen the state’s tax and regulatory environment, which is crucial to maintain and grow a competitive life sciences ecosystem. This includes efforts to modernize the state’s economic development incentives and enact new tax policies to spur company and capital formation. CBSA also works to prevent erosive measures that could make it harder to expand current companies or attract new life sciences companies to our state. 

Cultivate an Educated Workforce

CBSA supports workforce development initiatives to create a talent pipeline for the growing life sciences ecosystem. CBSA champions efforts to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and encourages the development of educational pathways, internship programs, and other initiatives to grow Colorado’s life sciences workforceThis includes reauthorization of the Innovative Industries Internship Program in 2020. 

Advance Industry Priorities within the Colorado State Budget

Colorado’s economy remains one of the strongest in the nation, yet each year the state faces difficult budget decisions. As the state legislature allocates funding and determines where cuts need to be made, CBSA works to ensure key priorities are fully funded and past legislative efforts remain intact. 

Federal Policy Priorities

Protect Patient Access to Health Innovation

CBSA works to ensure patients have access to the treatments and technologies they need. The association supports reimbursement policies that facilitate patient access to the right therapy or treatment at the right time, including appropriate and inclusive coverage, coding, and payment for biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic products. 

Increase Research Funding

CBSA advocates for increased National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and other federal research funding that fuels life sciences investment and innovation in Colorado and across the country.

In FY 2018, Colorado received $404 million in grants and contracts from NIH, which directly supported 7,499 jobs and $1.2 billion in economic activity. Among those grants and contracts, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards allow Colorado’s early-stage and startup companies to use federal research dollars to move ideas towards commercialization. In 2018 alone, Colorado companies and organizations received 273 SBIR awards totaling over $143 million dollars. 

As the cost of medical product development continues to increase, CBSA advocates for increased federal funding to ensure efficient transfer from research development to product development. CBSA urges Congress to increase NIH funding in FY 2021. 

Improve the Regulatory Process

CBSA works to improve the drug and device review and approval process. The association supports policies that lead to greater consistency, predictability, and transparency in the FDA’s review programs and help to bring safe and effective innovative treatments and technologies to patients. The association is also committed to working with Congress, federal agencies, and stakeholders to develop a workable framework for the regulation of laboratory developed tests that does not impede patient access to precision diagnostics or restrain innovation.    

CBSA applauded the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, which included a number of provisions to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments to patients. The association continues to engage with Congress and federal agencies to ensure successful implementation of the law. 

CBSA also advocates for full funding of the FDA so the agency can meet its performance goals and sustain investment, innovation, and improvements in patient care. CBSA strongly supported the FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017, which reauthorized the prescription drug, medical device, generic drug, and biosimilar user fee agreements and will continue to engage with the FDA and Congress on the next reauthorization package. 


Strengthen Incentives for Innovation

CBSA advocates for proposals that strengthen the incentives necessary to sustain innovation in the life sciences and create high-wage, high-value jobs. 

Medical Device Excise Tax 

CBSA supports legislation to permanently repeal the medical device excise tax, a 2.3% excise tax on the sale of certain medical technology that took effect as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the tax went into effect, it has created a significant drag on medical innovation and resulted in the loss of jobs, reduced research and development, and slowed capital expansion. CBSA urges Congress to permanently repeal this costly tax before it causes more harm to the Colorado innovation ecosystem and reduces the number of life-saving technologies available to patients.


Reflecting U.S. standards and laws in any new trade agreement for intellectual property rights and science-based regulation is incredibly important for Colorado companies. As the life sciences industry becomes increasingly global, it’s critical that we work to raise standards that will protect and foster innovation in foreign markets. CBSA supports efforts to secure trade agreements that commit our trading partners to 12 years of data exclusivity for biologics in line with U.S. law; enable harmonization in the regulation of biopharmaceuticals, devices, and diagnostics; and facilitate trade for innovative agricultural products.

Intellectual Property 

Strong intellectual property protections are the foundation of the life sciences industry. IP is critical to ensuring a steady stream of capital for Colorado companies developing innovative medicines and technologies and is essential to the technology transfer process that leads from lab invention to commercial product. CBSA supports proposals to curb abusive patent practices, while strengthening the ability of patent owners to defend their inventions and businesses against infringement.

Promote the Development of Agricultural Biotechnology Products

CBSA advocates for policies that promote the development and commercialization of agricultural biotechnology products and communicate scientifically significant information to consumers about health, safety, and nutrition.


Advance the Role of Digital Health Technologies in Improving Care

CBSA advocates for policies that advance the role of data and digital health technologies in improving patient care. The association supports regulatory and reimbursement policies that foster innovation and increase access to innovative digital health technologies, including clarity and transparency from the FDA and appropriate and inclusive coverage, coding, and reimbursement.  

Our digital health technology companies leverage health care data and technology innovation to draw new insights, improve patient experiences and outcomes, and increase the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. CBSA will continue working to create an environment that will advance their transformative technologies.