Weekly Policy Blog: CBSA’s 2023 Day at the Capitol
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 03/20/2023
On March 17, CBSA’s annual Day at the Capitol event returned in person. CBSA members, legislators, and legislative staff first gathered for a health innovation company showcase and networking, which highlighted the Colorado life sciences community’s impact on the state. Thank you to the following showcase companies for sharing how your health innovations are changing and saving patient’s lives:
- AGC Biologics
- Enveda Biosciences
- Innosphere Ventures + Burst Diagnostics + RedDrop Dx
- Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies
After CBSA President & CEO Elyse Blazevich kicked off the morning’s programming, members heard a keynote address from Eve Lieberman, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), which further underscored the importance of the life sciences ecosystem to the state. Eve also drew attention to CBSA’s priority bill this session, SB23-066 Advanced Industry Acceleration Programs. The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Programs are run by OEDIT and OEDIT is also championing the bill; she indicated SB23-066 is one of OEDIT’s top priorities. Eve asked stakeholders and legislators for their continued support of this bill that reauthorizes this critical program.
CBSA Vice President and Counsel for Policy + Advocacy Amy Goodman and CBSA’s lobbying team from Colorado Legislative Strategies provided a state advocacy update that included a general overview of the 2023 legislative session, an overview of key life sciences and healthcare-related themes, and updates on the bills that CBSA is supporting, opposing, monitoring, and still expecting to be introduced. Of the nine bills that Governor Polis highlighted in his healthcare legislative package on March 2, three are related to prescription drugs: HB23-1225 extends and expands the scope of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB), HB23-1201 prohibits the practice of “spread pricing” by PBMs, and HB23-1227 gives the Division of Insurance more direct oversight over PBMs. At this point in the session, CBSA is supporting four bills (SB23-066, HB23-1110, HB23-1130, and HB23-1198), opposing two bills (HB23-1225 and HB23-1118—which has already been postponed indefinitely), and actively monitoring thirteen life sciences-related bills and eight business-related bills, plus there were another three bills CBSA was monitoring that have already been killed.
Brian Warren, Senior Director of State Government Affairs at Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), spoke about national trends related to Prescription Drug Affordability Boards (PDABs) and best practices in economic development initiatives. Brian’s PDAB discussion highlighted the status of the six existing PDABs and the trends among the PDAB-related bills being introduced this year, emphasizing how none of the PDABs directly target patients’ out-of-pocket costs for medications. Brian also called attention to how Colorado is on a good path when it comes to meeting the best practices in economic development, but there is always room for improvement in the push to make Colorado a top five life sciences hub. Brian and CBSA’s Amy Goodman then provided an update on key federal issues relevant to CBSA members, including:
- Ongoing concerns with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA),
- Promoting broad patient access and addressing patient out-of-pocket costs for drugs,
- Continuing education on the 340B program and advocating for targeted reforms,
- Advancing a timely Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) reauthorization that bolsters biodefense and AMR efforts,
- Harnessing efforts to address climate change through bio-based economic incentives,
- Improving access to emerging technologies through the Transitional Coverage for Emerging Technologies (TCET) rule and the Ensuring Patient Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act,
- Addressing research & development expensing,
- Modernizing regulation of diagnostic tests through the Verifying Accurate, Leading-edge IVCT Development (VALID) Act, and
- The potential expansion of the Trade-Relations Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights waiver.
Finally, Amgen Director of State Government Affairs and CBSA Board of Directors Chair Kathleen (Kiki) Traylor, MD wrapped up the event with a thank you to our speakers, showcase companies, event sponsors, and special guests. We greatly appreciate the following event sponsors making this year’s Day at the Capitol event possible: