MichBio joined more than 300 biotechnology industry leaders from over 40 states during the recent BIO Legislative Day Fly-In. The annual gathering is the high profile policy event on Capitol Hill for the biotech/pharma and ag/industrial biotech sectors.
It was a very full day of meetings with members and/or staff of the Michigan Congressional offices. Harold Chase (Legislative Director, NSF International), Frank Plescia (Senior Policy Advisor to BIO, Bryan Cave LLP) joined MichBio in the visits. The group met directly with Reps. Moolenaar, Bishop, Trott, and Kildee (and ran into Sen. Peters in Sen. Stabenow’s office), and with health and agriculture legislative assistants in the offices of Reps. Huizenga, Levin, Upton, Dingell, Lawrence and Benishek, as well as Sens. Stabenow and Peters. All that in the midst of the incident caused by the protester who landed his gyroscope on the Capitol lawn and resulted in a security lock down just as we were traversing from the House to Senate side.
A number of issues critical to the biotechnology industry were discussed during the office meetings. These included drug development, discovery and delivery reforms (i.e., 21st Century Cures), targeting abuses of the U.S. patent system while protecting innovation (i.e., Innovate America, TROL, and STRONG Acts), providing adequate reimbursement for vital therapies under Medicare, FDA, and NIH funding, tax policy, support for science-based GMO food labeling solutions, and ensuring adequate capital formation for companies across their business life cycle.