Legislative Update: Week of August 30, 2021

Aug 30, 2021


Last Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a paper providing its “simulation model” to analyze legislation “that may substantially affect new drug development.” The paper also updates the model CBO used to analyze the impact of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, in 2019. As explained by CBO, based on its updated model, CBO expects that a policy similar in effect to the one proposed in H.R. 3 in 2019 would lead to 2 fewer drugs in the first decade, 23 fewer drugs over the next decade, and 34 fewer drugs in the third decade. CBO states that “any relationship between a policy change and the number of new drugs entering the market grows over time. The change would be small for the first few years because key decisions for drugs entering in those years would have been made before the policy change. However, the size of that change would increase substantially as decisions in earlier phases of development affect later phases.”  

And in Massachusetts, the City of Cambridge issued a new mask order on Friday that takes effect September 3, 2021. The new mask requirement applies to indoor, public spaces. Of note, the indoor mask requirement does not apply to offices or lab space, as outlined in the order.

On Wednesday, MassBio released its 2021 Industry Snapshot, which found that Massachusetts-headquartered biopharma companies raised $4.3 billion in venture capital (VC) funding in the first quarter of 2021, already nearing the industry’s peak of $5.8 billion in 2020. Additionally, the IPO market also remains strong, with 10 IPOs from Massachusetts-headquartered companies in the first half of 2021, raising a total of $2.1 billion – a rate on-pace with the 21 IPOs launched in 2020. Download the full report.


Ahead of the upcoming school year, King Philip, Plainville, Norfolk, and Wrentham school districts held a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students 12 years and older, family members, and school staff ahead of the upcoming school year. Additionally, the American Federation of Teachers and AFT Massachusetts hosted a back-to-school community vaccination fair in Lynn and Lawrence on Monday, with AFT President Randi Weingarten and AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos.

Saturday marks the final week of the enhanced federal unemployment benefits associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation programs.

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