New Member Briefing Highlights the Significance of California’s Life Sciences Industry
The California Biotechnology Foundation, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker pro-Tempore Chris Ward recently co-hosted a New Member Legislative Briefing on California’s Life Sciences Industry in Sacramento on January 30 where more than 50 legislators, staff, industry representatives and healthcare advocates participated during the informational session.
The briefing focused on the value of California’s life sciences industry, health innovations born from the Golden State’s pioneering spirit, their worldwide leadership in revolutionizing healthcare and the policies legislators consider each year that impact California’s second largest industry. Featuring experts from the life science industry, patient advocacy, and policy, the briefing highlighted the economic value and life-saving treatments from California’s life science industry as well as policies that can help get these innovative treatments into the hands of patients.
The briefing featured Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker pro-Tempore Chris Ward, as well as Assemblymembers Cottie Petrie-Norris and Dr. Akilah Weber who gave an overview of the industry, its importance to California and why legislators should take an active interest in California’s life sciences industry.
Biocom’s Senior VP and Chief Policy Officer, Jimmy Jackson, provided basic life science industry background regarding research and development, clinical trials and economic numbers. In addition, he discussed what the life sciences policy landscape looks like in California and the key role the industry plays in the state’s economy.
Representatives from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., and Gilead Sciences Inc. participated in a Future of Medical Innovation presentation about the ways that personalized medicine – including biomarkers, gene therapy and CAR-T – are saving lives and transforming healthcare and how those in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries can help ensure that it reaches its potential.
Patient advocates from some of the nation’s leading health advocacy organizations led a Patient Care Outcomes panel discussion about Co-Pay Accumulator practices that prohibit patient access to life saving medicines. The panel included: Reverend Tammie Denyse, Co-Founder & President, Carrie’s Touch, Siri Vaeth, Executive Director, Cystic Fibrosis Research Institute and Lynne Kinst, Executive Director, Hemophilia Council of California. Panel members discussed co-pay accumulator practices where health insurers stop counting the amount provided by copay assistance programs toward a patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum and use it for their own bottom line. The panel explained that these practices harm individuals with serious and chronic conditions, making it difficult or impossible for them to get the medications they need and discussed policies that can support patients. Visit All Copays Count for more information.
PhRMA’s Vice President of Policy, Asher Lisec, gave a presentation on the role lawmakers play in the success of health care innovation. She discussed policies that can help nurture life-saving medicines and support patient care by fostering accessible and affordable therapies and treatments.