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BioOhio Public Policy and Education Efforts, April 2022

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Informing and shaping public policy is an important part of our work at BioOhio. Many of our elected officials are interested in learning more about the health and life sciences, and we are working hard to serve as a resource for them, offering information and guidance as they consider policies that impact our industry.

The elected officials we meet with are the key policy and budgetary decision-makers for both the Governor’s office and both chambers of the Ohio legislature. Helping to connect the dots for our legislators, particularly those who shape policy that directly affects our industry, is the kind of purpose-driven work we are focused on.

I have heard from many of you about the issues you encounter in both policy and funding that create barriers to your success. Those issues are top of mind for me as we meet with policymakers and advocate for the life sciences in Ohio – and I encourage you to keep me informed about other issues you are facing that you believe state or federal policy changes could impact.

With that background, I am sharing with you today an update on our recent policy and advocacy efforts.

I look forward to continuing our conversations together and will keep you updated about this work in the future.

Eddie Pauline
President & CEO
BioOhio

BioOhio Industry Advocacy/Issue Update, April 2022

  • Rare Disease Advisory Council
    • First Meeting was on March 10th, next meeting May 5th.
    • The Council has 31 members, including myself
    • Former State Rep Randi Clites was elected chair of the council. She also created the legislation to establish the council (HB 412).
  • Building relationships with Key State Government Leadership
    • Reintroduced BioOhio to the following key policymakers on 4/5/22
      • Senator Matt Huffman (R-12) Senate President
      • Senator Steve Huffman (R-5) Chair of the Senate Health Committee
      • Tim Ginter (R-5) Speaker Pro-Tem
      • Bill Seitz (R-30) Majority Floor Leader
      • Scott Lipps (R-62) Chair of the Health Committee
      • Scott Oelslager (R-48) Chair of the Finance Committee
      • Bride Rose Sweeney (D-14) Ranking Member of Finance Committee
      • Aaron Crooks, Governor Dewine’s Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Legislation Watch
    • HB 514 The GROW Ohio Act
    • HB 135 Banning Copay Accumulator Practice
      • Bill passed the house, introduced to Senate Health Committee (story)
      • BioOhio is a part of a coalition of 60 organizations supporting this patient-focused bill.
    • HB 248/425 Vaccine related bills
      • No new activity, but we oppose efforts to prohibit common-sense measures that benefit public health
    • HB 608 Require health plan and Medicaid coverage of biomarker testing
      • We are a member of the coalition to support this bill
  • Investigating Sales Tax Exemption for R&D Consumables 
    • Ohio is surrounded by states that have this exemption
  • Sickle Cell Disease Education Panel at the Statehouse (3/22)
    • Served as Moderator for an expert panel discussion about SCD in Ohio
    • State Reps West, Liston, and Lightbody attended as well as Sen. Craig. 
  • Hosted forum on Columbus’ Role in Gene and Cell Therapy at the Columbus Metropolitan Club
    • 3/16 event details here, watch the video on YouTube. 
  • Signed on as a sponsor for Ohio Business Roundtable’s CEO Summit on May 12
    • Healthcare and Life Science workforce them, RSVP here 
  • Serving on panel “Ohio’s Commitment to Gene and Cell Therapy” with JobsOhio and the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM)
  • Sign on Letters/Federal Support/Other
    • PBM Reform to Senator Sherrod Brown
    • WHO TRIPS Waiver Concerns
    • Encouraging Ohio Representatives to join MedTech Caucus
    • Encourage Ohio Reps. to sign on to a letter expressing concern with CMS’ recent NCD for treatment of Alzheimer’s (letter pdf)
      • CMS released its National Coverage Determination (NCD) on Alzheimer’s Disease.  You can read BIO’s statement on why this is an enormous setback for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease here.
    • Renewing SBIR and STTR Programs, set to expire 9/30/2022
    • The state of Oregon is proposing to restrict coverage of medicines approved under FDA’s Accelerated Approval Pathway— We are helping to oppose this issue because it would establish a negative precedent for patients nationwide.  Comments can be submitted using the following link:  Click here to urge CMS to reject this proposal and explain why it would harm patients, especially those with serious, unmet need. Please share this link with your networks.




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