Weekly Policy Blog: CBSA Advocates on Federal Issues During the BIO Fly-In 

Colorado Bioscience Association (CBSA) Vice President and Counsel for Policy + Advocacy, Amy Goodman, represented the Colorado life sciences ecosystem and advocated for community priorities on Capitol Hill last week during the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) 2024 Fly-In. 

CBSA shared exciting updates about the growth and health of the life sciences ecosystem in Colorado and addressed some of the top concerns and priorities of CBSA members with Colorado’s Congressional delegation. 

Thank you to the staffs of Sen. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Joe Neguse, and Rep. Brittany Pettersen for speaking with CBSA about boosting research into new treatments and cures for patients. 

The topics CBSA discussed included: 

  • The Need to Restore Immediate R&D Expensing: Members of CBSA continue to be very concerned about the 2022 change to Section 174 of the Internal Revenue Code that required businesses to amortize “research and experimentation” expenses over five years for domestic expenditures and over 15 years for foreign expenditures. CBSA thanked the members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation who voted in support of the tax package that recently passed the House, which included an R&D expensing fix. 
  • Fixes for Some of the Ongoing Concerns with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): CBSA members continue to have significant concerns about the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on investments in innovation, but there are two bills that would mitigate the negative impact of the IRA on patients and innovation.

    • First, the Optimizing Research Progress Hope and New (ORPHAN) Cures Act (H.R.5539/S.3131) would help to protect the incentives necessary for drug manufacturers to research and develop treatments for rare diseases by amending the IRA to ensure orphan drugs treating one or more rare diseases or conditions are excluded from Medicare price negotiations. By passing this legislation, Congress can encourage follow-on investment into orphan drug development and preserve hope for millions of Americans living with a rare disease or condition. 

    • Second, the Ensuring Pathways to Innovative Cures (EPIC) Act (H.R.7174), would fix the small molecule “pill penalty,” ensuring protections from price controls for small molecules are increased to the same as those for large molecules. A compelling op-ed in Real Clear Health discusses the importance of this legislative fix. 
  • Colorado Hub for Health Impact Campaign: A consortium of 22 partners just launched Colorado Hub for Health Impact, a national economic development campaign to position Colorado as America’s epicenter for talent, investors, and life sciences-centric companies looking to start, relocate, or expand in our state. This first-ever, large-scale investment will attract new life sciences companies, talent, and investors to Colorado, resulting in even stronger collaborations and breakthroughs that save and change lives around the world.   
  • CNBC Story on Denver-Boulder Life Sciences Market: A recent CNBC story featured the growth of Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem as part of CNBC’s quarterly Cities of Success series. The story highlighted how the Colorado life sciences “ecosystem has raised in excess of a billion dollars for the past seven consecutive years — and early stage funding in Colorado in 2023 grew faster than other life sciences markets around the country.” In addition, “the pool of qualified workers in life sciences is growing much faster in the region than the national average, growing 35% over the past five years, compared to 16% growth for the U.S. overall.” 

CBSA’s Advocacy Efforts 

Policy + Advocacy leadership for life sciences is critical at both the state and federal levels. The CBSA Policy + Advocacy team is proud to collaborate with members, partners, and policymakers to advocate for policies that protect patient access to needed therapies and technologies and support a pro-innovation environment for life sciences (see CBSA’s Policy Priorities).  

To get involved with CBSA’s advocacy efforts or talk about your concerns, perspective, or position on a bill, please contact CBSA’s Vice President and Counsel for Policy + Advocacy, Amy Goodman

Categories: CBSA News