2017 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS PRIORITIES
Invest in Biomedical Research
The goal is to seed research with potential to lead to breakthrough treatments and expand the industry and Florida’s economy. BioFlorida encourages the funding of research at Florida’s Centers of Excellence including state research universities and our independent research institutes through the following initiatives:
- Support the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and Bill Bankhead and David Coley Cancer Research Program: maintain current funding from cigarette sales surcharge to fund biomedical research and drug discovery.
- Support Legislation Regarding Alzheimer’s Research and Care: Encourage increased funding for the Ed & Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program to make Florida a leader in Alzheimer’s research and care.
- Increase funding for and expansion of the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers Program: to enhance the quality and competitiveness of cancer care in this state, further a statewide biomedical research strategy directly responsive to the health needs of Florida’s citizens, and capitalize on the potential educational opportunities available to Florida’s students.
- Support for New Drug Discovery and Translational Research: Encourage the discovery and development of therapeutics to strengthen and expand the intellectual property portfolio of our universities and independent research institutes.
2017 Results: BioFlorida supports and increase in biomedical research funding; this year, approximately $91.2 million (an eleven percent increase) was appropriated by the legislature to support research aimed at discovering new and innovative biomedical technology, treatments or cures.
Support and Expand the Florida Life Sciences Industry
In order to make Florida more competitive with other states, BioFlorida supports the infusion of funds and creation of tax incentives to support existing companies and to attract more life sciences companies to the state. BioFlorida favors increased funding for the continuation of these existing programs and new funding to support the expansion of the vibrant life science industry in Florida.
- Support State Tax Reductions: BioFlorida will monitor tax and fee reduction proposals (including, but not limited to: sales tax, commercial lease, and corporate income tax) to assess their impact on the life science industry and encourages our members to provide feedback to Governor Scott and legislative leaders on ideas for these proposals.
- Promote State Biotechnology Competitiveness: BioFlorida supports continuation funding to spur growth of Florida’s biotechnology industry and the continuation of programs already implemented in Florida like the Innovation Incentive Fund and State Economic Enhancement and Development Fund.
- Fund and Support the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (Institute): The Institute funds start-ups and helps investors and entrepreneurs identify new investment opportunities based on technologies developed through publicly-funded research. BioFlorida advocates for the continuation and expansion of the Institute’s funding programs.
- Encourage investor funds in the life sciences: support measures that encourage angel, venture capital, and other funding for Florida companies.
- Strengthen Florida’s Economic Development Tool Kit: including the Quick Action Closing Fund, the High Impact Performance Incentive (HIPI) grants and the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI).
2017 Results: BioFlorida supports state tax savings to help our member companies better utilize financial resources on advancing new, innovative technologies and through the continuation of research and development. The legislature passed two tax incentives that achieve these goals, first, permanently lowering the sales tax charged on commercial leases from 6% to 5.8 % as well as doubling the research and development tax credit for a total of $18 million. Additionally, the legislature allocated $24.3 million for economic development tools as well as language increasing accountability and transparency for receiving entities.
Support Patient Access and Appropriate Use of Therapeutic Options
Breakthrough cures and access to these cures have a two-fold impact: access to cures promotes discovery and support of Florida-based life science research; and these cures literally save the lives of Floridians.
- Support Right Medicine, Right Time: Support measures that increase access for Florida patients to prescription medications, including breakthrough medications, and support transparency in payor’s formulary process. Oppose measures that establish a system premised on therapeutic interchangeability of prescription medications and the dispensing therapeutic alternative medications without prior authorization of a prescriber.
- Oppose artificial controls on the prescription drug marketplace: Oppose legislation and other efforts to establish drug price controls or burdensome “drug price transparency” reporting requirements for manufacturers.
2017 Results: HB 589/SB 888 passed, this “Prescription Drug Price Transparency” bill allows consumers to access the usual and customary price information on their prescription drugs through the MyFloridaRx.com website, a joint effort between the Office of the Attorney General and the Agency for Health Care Administration. Additionally, BioFlorida worked with industry stakeholders and other allies to advance solutions for a competitive, value-based health care system that doesn’t intervene on drug pricing or endanger confidential trade information or innovative research.
Support the Marketing of Florida’s Life Science Business Brand
Increase interaction and exposure of advances made in the state and support continued economic development efforts centered on life sciences.
- Support Enterprise Florida’s efforts to Market Florida’s Business Brand: support increased funding to promote Florida as a destination for businesses in the life sciences.
- Promote Florida as a Destination for Clinical Trials: Develop and implement strategy to encourage clinical trials in Florida including education and incentives. Clinical trials improve research and treatments, benefit patients, and contribute to the economy. Florida has already acknowledged its support of clinical trials through the collaboration agreement between the state and health insurers for insurers to provide routine coverage and cover patient costs associated with Phase I through IV cancer clinical trial.
2017 Results: During the June Special Session, an additional $85 million was allocated to create the Florida Job Growth Grant fund to award funds for public infrastructure projects and workforce training to improve Florida’s business climate.