Weekly Policy Update: The Colorado Experience, Tariff Advocacy, and FDA Funding News
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 05/25/2018
COLORADO EXPERIENCE – BOULDER
This week Jennifer Jones, Vice President of the Colorado BioScience Association, participated in the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Colorado Experience two-day trip with CO business and civic leaders trip to Boulder, CO. Participants learned about collaboration and entrepreneurism; then toured BIO Frontiers, Google, Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools, Naturally Boulder, and more. CBSA was honored to be a part of the trip and to have the opportunity to talk to delegates about the bioscience industry and its economic impact to our state. Our visit to BioFrontiers Institute gave the delegates an opportunity to tour the labs, hear from their Director Dr. Tom Cech and learned more about the lifesaving innovations that are taking place in our backyard. To learn more about the BIO Frontiers click here.
We also got a behind the scenes view of the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools. It was great to hear from the students and learn how they are making an impact on our education system. The Innovation Center prepares students for successful STEM careers by partnering with industry to provide real world work experiences. They drive a culture of creativity, risk-taking, collaboration and innovation. They work daily to build websites, apps for a variety of mobile platforms, electronics, circuitry, robotics, biomedical, aerospace, environmental, structural and mechanical engineering projects. To learn more about the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools click here.
Over the past few weeks CBSA has advocated to the CO Delegation our concern with the recent USTR announcement to impose tariffs on almost $3 billion worth of medical technology as well as pharmaceutical ingredients and products that could impact manufacturing costs for affordable, FDA-approved generic and biosimilar medicines as part of the Section 301 list.
The decision to impose tariffs on medical technology could hurt U.S. manufacturing, negatively impact our ability to compete globally, and potentially increase healthcare costs; resulting in limits on patient access to life-saving technology.
In addition to expressing our concern, CBSA urged the CO Delegation to sign onto a letter to USTR led by Representatives Paulsen (R-MN) and Peters (D-CA). We thank our delegation members who added their signatures to the letter. You can read the full letter here. We will continue to work with our national industry partners to ensure our industry’s voice is heard and protected. We will continue to update you as the process unfolds.
The House and Senate are marking up the FY 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which includes funding for the FDA. The Senate version provides $2.97 billion in discretionary spending for the FDA (roughly 5% increase), $159 million more than FY 2018. The House bill gives FDA $3.1 billion (roughly 10% increase) in discretionary spending.
Additionally, the bill provides $88.5 million for medical product initiatives, including full funding for the Oncology Center of Excellence; $15 million for food safety initiatives; and $59 million for opioid prevention efforts. The bill also provides $70 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.
As this works its way through the legislative process we’ll be sure to keep you updated.