Policy Update: MA Delegation Committed to Life Sciences Industry & Innovation

November 20, 2013

MassBio has been deeply engaged on the proposed revisions to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS), released by CMS in July. MassBio expressed its concern in a letter to the Massachusetts Delegation that the proposed payment structure discussed in these revisions will restrict patient access to breakthrough technologies that can solve unmet medical needs. Of particular concern is CMS’ plan to bundle a diverse group of products for reimbursement purposes. A copy of our letter can be found at: www.MassBio.org/public_policy.

We have also worked closely with Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, prompting the governor to send his own letter to CMS. We thank Gov. Patrick and the delegation, particularly Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Mike Capuano, who also took the lead on a letter. Additional thanks to Sen. Ed Markey who continues to realize the importance of our industry on the economy and patients.

In September, MassBio hosted a roundtable discussion with Sen. Warren, who was joined by MassBio President & CEO Robert Coughlin, MassBio Board Chairman Geoff MacKay, BIO President and CEO James Greenwood, as well as executives and key stakeholders from MassBio member companies. This roundtable provided a great opportunity for the group to discuss important legislative issues and the future of innovation with Sen. Warren, who has taken a keen interest in the issues facing our industry.

BIOSIMILARS IN MASSACHUSETTS

In early September, the Massachusetts Biotech Caucus hosted a panel discussion on “Biosimilars in Massachusetts.” MassBio President & CEO Robert Coughlin moderated the discussion which centered on how the introduction of biosimilar and interchangeable biologics into clinical practice will present some new challenges that have not historically been present with small molecule generic medicines.

The Massachusetts Legislature is currently considering legislation relative to interchangeable biosimilars, House Bill 3667. This bill is before the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance for review and consideration. Coughlin testified before the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance in support of H3667 on Oct. 22. MassBio supports BIO’s five principles on biologic substitution and hopes that they are included in legislation passed in Massachusetts.

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