To anyone not already familiar, public policy advocacy can feel intimidating, confusing, and walled off. Yet, at its core, this type of advocacy is about educating policymakers about the issues at hand and offering legislative and regulatory solutions to best address those problems. To help bridge this gap and offer a simple way for patients, caregivers, and patient advocates of all stripes to engage in the legislative process in Massachusetts, I am excited to share with you our new digital advocacy campaign, “Cures for the Commonwealth.”
The Cures for the Commonwealth (C4TC) campaign is an extension of, and supplement to, MassBio’s regular legislative advocacy activity. Our government affairs team is constantly working to ensure Massachusetts state government is making policy decisions that support the continued growth and success of our world-leading life sciences cluster, and not passing any laws or regulations that would hinder it. Policy advocacy is a core function on behalf of our membership and C4TC now allows all of the life sciences ecosystem, patients, and others to engage directly with policymakers on issues that impact patient access to therapies and cures.
The campaign has three main elements: sharing patient stories, building a community of like-minded residents of Massachusetts, and opening a line of communications between these folks and state legislators. When you visit the website, you’ll see a variety of patient stories highlighting both patients who have already benefited from new therapies and also those who are still waiting. You’ll also see a high-level discussion about how public policy can positively and negatively impact patient access. As the legislative session in Massachusetts moves forward and the debate over various bills that impact patients heats up, the campaign and website will update to discuss specific legislation and the pros and cons. Ultimately, we’ll look to connect Massachusetts residents directly to legislators so those legislators can hear why patients need simple, affordable access to breakthrough, life-saving drugs.
Right now, I’d encourage you to sign-up and join the campaign. Give us your email address through the website or follow the campaign on Facebook. That’s the best way to learn more and stay engaged. Together, we have the power to positively influence the legislative process in Massachusetts.