Policy Matters - September 2011

STATE UPDATE

More than a Golf Game –Support for BIOPAC

Think Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship - the holy grail of golf! WBBA's Seventh Annual Golf Invitational, the only fund raising event of 2011 directly benefiting the industry's political action committee - BIOPAC, was held August 15 at the Fairwood Golf & Country Club in Renton.

The BIOPAC helps increase the life science sector’s voice in Washington state government through education, information and support for candidates who promote the development of products and devices that save lives and improve the quality of life for millions of individuals. Make a contribution to BIOPAC today.

More than 100 golfers enjoyed a perfect August day on the course. Congratulations to the winning foursome of Rich Able, Fernando Da Silva, Jason Hamilton, and John Peterson! Additional prizes were given to golfers with the longest drive, closest to the pin, putting, and Beat the Pro! A silent auction was held to raise additional funds for the BIOPAC. Thank you to all of our item donors and purchasers. Don't miss the fun and fantastic golf next year! View the photo album

Thank you to the Golf Committee and Co-chairs, Kristen Beaulieu and Ryan Murphy both from Wells Fargo Insurance Services, for their dedication to this event. Other members of the committee included Jason Berger, Sheri' DuMond, and Pete Maslenikov.

The tournament would not be possible without our sponsors and we would like to thank our Luncheon sponsor - Biomed Realty Trust; Photo sponsor - Seed IP Law Group PLLC; our first year ever Shirt sponsor – Fenwick & West; Golf Cart sponsor – BNBuilders, Inc.; 150-Yard Sign sponsor - Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.; and Skilled Hole sponsors – Skanska, Turner Construction and Wells Fargo Insurance Services; and our Hole sponsors – BIO, Fenwick & West, Chubb & Son, Biomedical Device Innovation Zone, The Next Fifty; and a big hit our first ever Latte Cart sponsor – Navigators Life Sciences.

FEDERAL UPDATE

Conversations with Congressional Members 
Senator Patty Murray

President Chris Rivera moderated a life science round table discussion with Senator Patty Murray at Amgen on August 10. Leaders from our state's research institutions, global health, biotech, med tech and venture capital sectors were present. Alan Aderem, Seattle BioMed; Sissy Bouchard and Nitin Baliga, Institute for Systems Biology; Hugh Chang, PATH; Tom Clement, Cardiac Insight; John DesRoiser, Life Sciences Discovery Fund; Bob Drewel and Chris Endresen, Puget Sound Regional Council; Nate Miles, Lilly; Ron Myers, VLST; Eric Nilsson, Insilicos; Bob Nelsen, ARCH Venture Partners; Guy Palmer, Washington State University; Paul Ramsey, UW Medicine; Patti McKinnell Davis, WBBA; and from our host Amgen, Tim Martin, Carol Pawlak, Arleen Paulino, Dean Pettit, and Jim Thomas. Access to capital, growing Washington's life science sector and the regulatory climate were key topics of discussion. The group also expressed appreciation for Senator Murray’s interest in and support of the life sciences industry. The meeting was timely, as Senator Murray had just been appointed as co-Chair of the deficit panel Super Committee.

 Representative Dave Reichert

On Monday, August 29, We Work for Health (WWFH) organized a site tour of Amgen’s Seattle research and development facility for Rep. David Reichert. The purpose of the tour was to show Rep. Reichert and his staff the innovative work conducted at Amgen and the healthcare, jobs and other economic benefits businesses like Amgen provide. In a roundtable discussion following the tour, WWFH Co-Chairs including Chris Rivera, Bob Drewel and Rogers Weed spoke to Rep. Reichert about the current policies and issues confronting Washington biotech and expressing their appreciation for Rep. Reichert’s interest and support. Other contributors to the conversation included Amgen site head Tomas Mustelin and WSU researcher Katrina Mealey. 

Representative Adam Smith

President Chris Rivera moderated a life science roundtable discussion with Congressman Adam Smith at the Institute for Systems Biology on August 30, 2011. A diverse group of leaders from the life sciences companies representing healthcare, renewable energy and investors. Access to capital and federal investment tools, regulatory climate, healthcare costs and bending the cost curve on healthcare. Thank you to those who participated in the conversation and expressed their appreciation for Congressman Smith’s interest and support of the life sciences. John Abbott, Philips Healthcare; Brian Black, VLST Corp; Tom Clement, Cardiac Insight; Brian Glaister, Cadence Biomedical; Michael Hite, Impel NeuroPharma; Lee Huntsman, Life Sciences Discovery Fund; Thong Le, WRF Capital; Margaret McCormick, Targeted Growth; Patti McKinnell Davis, WBBA and Linda Danforth and Josh Crossen from Congressman Smith’s office.

Unleashing the Promise of Biotechnology

“Fully realizing the promise of biotechnology requires a comprehensive national strategy that fine-tunes some policies and overhauls others. In the pages that follow, (Click here for report) we outline a policy agenda that we believe will enable U.S. biotech companies to transform the innovative ideas of today into the realities of tomorrow.” Source: www.bio.org

Patent Reform

On Thursday, September 8, in a vote of 89-9, the Senate passed the America Invents Act, a bill previously passed by the House. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. After six years, final approval was given to the first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in more than 50 years. See what BIO had to say.

Effort to Repeal of Medical Device Tax Continues 
Study: Device Tax Could Cost Jobs, Stifle Innovation

On Sept 7, 2011 AdvaMed released a study titled, “Employment Effects of the New Excise Tax on the Medical Device Industry.” The study was conducted by Furchtgott-Roth Economic Enterprises. The study reports that of the 400,000 jobs in the industry, the device tax puts 43,000 of those jobs at risk. “The study comes at a critical time as Washington focuses on job creation, which everyone agrees is key to reigniting our economy. As the Administration and Congress work to address this issue, it’s important for them to understand the device tax is counter-productive to economic growth and the shared aim of putting more Americans to work,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of AdvaMed. Press Release 

Hundreds endorse repeal of Medical Device Excise Tax

MDMA circulated a letter with endorsements by hundreds of companies and organizations that support repeal of the tax including WBBA. View copies of the letters 

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