THE LIFE SCIENCES PENNSYLVANIA
2021 ANNUAL REPORT
2021 ADVOCACY ACTIVITY
The year began, nationally, with the swearing-in of a new presidential administration. However, the 2020 elections brought very few changes to the composition of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation and General Assembly. As the Commonwealth, and our country, continued to navigate a global pandemic, Life Sciences PA worked diligently to educate and engage our public officials on Pennsylvania’s robust life sciences ecosystem, and the critical work of our membership to develop vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics to combat COVID-19.
As vaccines were distributed and our members grew accustomed to working in a virtual environment, our advocacy efforts returned to more traditional interactions. Life Sciences PA held four ‘Meet and Greets’ with congressional delegation representatives, and our President and CEO, Christopher Molineaux, moderated a multi-state congressional briefing in the spring on drug price control policies. This briefing would prove timely as the year continued. Advocacy Days was held over a two-day period with more than 50 participants and 25 virtual meetings. Life Sciences PA also instituted Legislative Leaders meetings and hosted eight meetings with legislators and its State Policy Committee to replicate the impromptu run-ins that occur in the state Capitol.
Through interactions like this, Life Sciences PA was able to re-engage its membership on priorities important to the life sciences community. We were pleased to see funding maintained for our allies at the Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners along with support for the Research & Development Tax Credit and the Keystone Innovation Zones. Additionally, we were pleased to see the budget include a new Angel Investment Venture Capital Program.
Life Sciences PA also launched a working group of stakeholders to support the allowance of Association Health Plans, and increased awareness and momentum for policies affecting patient access through our Annual Patient Summit and partnership with 52 patient advocacy group members.
At the federal level, Life Sciences PA activated its membership to oppose drug pricing controls contained in H.R. 3 and the Build Back Better Act. Our efforts generated more than 125 letters to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, and many meetings between our Federal Policy Committee and offices of the Pennsylvania delegation, outlining our significant concerns on how government “negotiation” will undermine patient access to novel therapies and cures. In addition to the efforts on drug pricing, we worked closely with our medtech members and national partners to weigh in with CMS in support of the MCIT rule to align the breakthrough designation of medical devices with reimbursement by Medicare. We were proud to lead a letter to the delegation on the importance of NIH funding signed by many of our academic research institution members and were pleased to see the House support that increase. Finally, we continued to raise awareness and build momentum for policies around pandemic and public health preparedness – discussions that are sure to continue in 2022.
Life Sciences PA looks forward to further engaging and activating its membership to ensure public officials understand the innovative work of our member organizations and their efforts to research and develop life-saving technologies and treatments for patients around the world.