Policy Update

April 30, 2013

In March, MassBio announced that that our Chairman of the Board of Directors, Geoff MacKay, was named to the Health Policy Commission (HPC) Advisory Council. In his new role, Geoff Mackay will be joined by representatives from across the health care field to help guide the Health Policy Commission’s implementation of the state’s health care cost containment law. The Council will advise the HPC’s overall operations and policies, provide feedback on a grant program to support new system delivery and payment reform methods, and encourage public and stakeholder engagement in the HPC’s work. We look forward to our Chairman’s new role as he continues to bring insight and an industry voice to the health care reform implementation process.

On March 12th and 13th, MassBio participated in BIO Fly-In in Washington D.C., where biotechnology executives from across the country met to take part in legislative briefings and advocacy. MassBio had a strong presence at the event, meeting with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss important legislative issues facing our industry. One highlight from BIO Fly-In was MassBio’s Spring Reception event, where members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation and staff met with biotech leaders from the Commonwealth to engage in an active discussion on the current state and future of our industry. The reception proved to be a successful event and we would like thank everyone who attended for participating in such an important opportunity for our industry.

The Massachusetts Biotech Caucus has also been very busy this year. To kick off the legislative session, Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Joseph Wagner, co-chairs of the Biotech Caucus, held a Caucus event at the State House on Influenza Vaccination and Public Health. In the wake of the influenza outbreak this past winter, the event provided a timely review of the current vaccination options and what will be available for the next flu season. Legislators and staff alike attended to hear the discussion about innovative public health vaccination initiatives and steps that can be taken to improve public health in the Commonwealth.

In March, AstraZeneca welcomed members of the Massachusetts Biotech Caucus to their R&D Facility at Gatehouse Park in Waltham which is their headquarters for global infectious disease research and oncology drug research. In April, the Biotech Caucus continued its tour of the AstraZeneca facilities when it visited the Westborough manufacturing facility, where a sterile preservative free suspension used to treat bronchial asthma is produced.  Biotech Caucus events continue to be great learning opportunities for Legislators and their staff, and MassBio looks forward to future Caucus events to come.

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