Advocacy Archive

As the Ohio affiliate of AdvaMed, BIO, MDMA, and PhRMA, BioOhio participates in advocacy for issues that matter to our members, our industry, and to the health and prosperity of Ohio.

The following are announcements from our national partners, as well as BioOhio letters, activities, and engagements with Ohio legislators in hopes of driving change that will support the bioscience industry in Ohio. If you would like to get involved or have questions about these issues, please contact John F. Lewis, Jr., our President and CEO, at jlewis@bioohio.com.

You can also keep up with activity at the State and Federal levels with content from our national partners, AdvaMed, BIO, MDMA and PhRMA, and our advocacy consulting firm, G2G, on our blog with the links below.

All Advocacy Blog Posts   |   Legislative Updates from G2G

Advocacy & Government Items in the News

Updates from BIO and the Council of State Bioscience Associations

Past updates

As we transition to using our blog and news areas for updates on advocacy work, this page will serve as an archive to older policy items. Use the links above for more recent activities.

April 29, 2015
Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today celebrated the release of the  21st Century Cures Initiative discussion draft shared by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX). Read more here.

March 10, 2015
BioOhio Statehouse Day
. Each year, BioOhio invites Ohio lawmakers to join us and our members at the Statehouse for an opportunity to discuss the impact and importance of Ohio’s bioscience companies, research institutions, and educators. The event features networking and lunch in the beautiful Statehouse Atrium, as well as individual meetings with legislators throughout the day. Click here for a full report of the event or read the reports from members that attended one-on-one meetings with legislators.

March 4-5, 2015
BioOhio joins AdvaMed in Washington D.C. for the 2015 Legislative Fly-In. BioOhio’s President and CEO, John F. Lewis, Jr. and Liz Powell, Founder of BioOhio member company G2G Consulting, joined fellow bioscience organizations from around the country last week in Washington, D.C. for the AdvaMed Legislative Fly-In. Scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, the event’s second day was unfortunately canceled due to inclement weather; however, the first day was packed with opportunities to promote Ohio’s strong bioscience community. Read the full story here.

February 11, 2015 – AdvaMed proposes a new Innovation Agenda. The medical technology industry is central to the development of medical technologies that will provide the life-saving and life-enhancing treatments of the future. But the innovation ecosystem that supports medical technology is severely stressed. The U.S. has historically been the world leader in medical technology, but our leadership is eroding. To respond to these challenges and rebuild the innovation ecosystem, AdvaMed proposes a new Innovation Agenda.  Enactment of this agenda will unleash the potential of medical technology to extend and improve lives, reduce the cost and burden of disease, and maintain and enhance U.S. scientific and economic leadership.  Failure to act will mean lost lives, unnecessary suffering, reduced job formation, and diminished economic growth. Read more about the Innovation Agenda here.

January 22, 2015
Support for the First Responder Medical Device Tax Relief Act. “On behalf of BioOhio, the state bioscience industry association representing more than 400 members and thousands of Ohio medical device employees, I respectfully ask your support for legislation authored by Congressman Mike Turner, the First Responder Medical Device Tax Relief Act, which would exempt medical equipment used by first responders from the new 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, part of the Affordable Care Act.” Read the full letter from BioOhio’s President and CEO, John F. Lewis, Jr., on our blog, here.

January 13, 2015
Coalition letter to Congressional leadership calling for the repeal of the medical device tax in the 114th Congress. This letter was sent by AdvaMed, MITA, and MDMA on behalf of the nearly 1,000 firms, associations, patient and provider organizations, and other groups that signed. For more, please read the brief summary:
“As the 114th Congress begins, we respectfully request that repeal of the medical device excise tax be addressed as a top priority. Implementation of this excise tax – now estimated to collect approximately $25 billion in taxes – is adversely impacting patient care and innovation, and will compromise patient access to cutting edge medical technologies. The Senate and House have both previously passed repeal legislation with strong bipartisan majorities. On behalf of the almost 1,000 undersigned organizations, associations, companies, patients, providers and venture capital firms representing hundreds of thousands medical technology jobs, we ask that you act to repeal the medical device tax during this session of Congress.” Read the full letter here (pdf).

January 8, 2015
John F. Lewis, Jr. speaks with Cleveland.com about the medical device tax. “Some of these companies have profit margins that are less than the tax. They are being taxed out of profitability.” Read the full article here. New Congress will prioritize repeal of medical device tax – Cleveland.com, Plain Dealer Publishing Co.

November 4, 2014 – Medical Device Tax Impact and Response, The Congressional Research Service releases “The Medical Device Excise Tax: Economic Analysis”, an updated version of their 2013 report on the subject. AdvaMed also today re-released their response to the report. Download the CRS report here and AdvaMed’s response here (both in pdf format).

October 14, 2014 – PhRMA launches AccessBetterCoverage.org, a new resource for consumers to learn the ABCs of coverage. The site features: Coverage Classroom – whiteboard videos on insurance basics; Insurance Basics – tips and questions to ask when looking for coverage; Glossary – simple definitions of commonly heard terms; Research – a repository of recent research on access and coverage; In Your State – an interactive state map populated with state-specific fact sheets; The Latest – related blog post and news.

October 7, 2014 – PhRMA releases two free reports on cancerMedicines in Development for Cancer highlights the 771 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials or awaiting review by the FDA, and Researching Cancer Medicines: Setbacks and Stepping Stones Report reveals complex challenges in developing new cancer medicines.

September 9, 2014 In recognition of National Aging Month, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has released resources on the benefit and patient value of treatments aimed at three major disease areas specific to the aging population: cataracts, osteoarthritis and diabetes. Read more here.

September 9, 2014AdvaMedDx supports FDA oversight of LDTs risk-based approach, will support innovation, patient safety. Andrew Fish, executive director of AdvaMedDx, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee today in support of FDA taking a risk-based approach to the regulation of lab-developed tests (LDTs), which have grown increasingly complex over the last decade and are relied upon by doctors and patients to guide critical healthcare decisions. Read the full release here.

September 5, 2014 – AdvaMed President and CEO, Stephen J. Ubl, “Prescription for a Healthy Economy: Reduce Costs by Fighting Chronic Disease.” One of the biggest debates in health policy right now is how to reduce spending while maintaining quality, value and access to affordable coverage. In recent decades, increases in U.S. health care spending have outpaced economic growth. In 1970, we spent 7.2 percent of GDP on health care. Fast forward 40 years and that number has risen to 17. 9 percent, with nearly one out of every five dollars in the U.S. economy going toward health care. Read the full article here.

September 3, 2014
The Alliance for Patient Access issued calls for support of Congressman Boehner and Congressman Tiberi in their efforts to protect patients’ access to community cancer care and affordable treatments. This access is part of potential cuts to Medicare Part B funding.

August 27, 2014 – PhRMA launches Innovation.org. The new website provides easy access to PhRMA resources related to the R&D process, the biopharmaceutical pipeline, and progress fighting diseases such as hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s, leukemia, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

August 4, 2014 – PhRMA releases 2014 Report on Medicines in Development for Arthritis. Arthritis is part of a group of related musculoskeletal diseases consisting of more than 100 different conditions that affect more than 52 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The new report conveys a variety of novel approaches building on our growing knowledge of disease and scientific progress to tackle this challenging chronic disease. Read the full report here.

July 25, 2014Assessing the Long-Term Value of Hepatitis C Treatments. The current debate regarding the cost of new and forthcoming hepatitis C treatments has brought to light a long-standing discussion about the cost and value of innovative new medicines. Over the past few months, PhRMA has highlighted a number of key points as it relates to the cost and value discussion around hepatitis C, and today, PhRMA’s President and CEO John Castellani continued to add to the dialogue with an op-ed for CNN. Click here to read more.

June 11, 2014 – Coverage without Access: An Analysis of Exchange Plan Benefits for Certain Medicines. A new report demonstrates that the majority of plans in the Health Insurance Exchanges are placing a significant out-of-pocket burden on patients with serious illnesses by requiring particularly high cost-sharing for all medicines used to treat certain conditions. This analysis by Avalere Health finds that the vast majority of plans in the Health Insurance Exchanges require relatively high cost sharing for all medicines in at least one class. This cost burden leaves many patients with nowhere to turn and can negatively affect patients’ health, and even their lives, by limiting access to needed care. Read the full summary and report here.

June 1, 2014
The Advanced Medical Technology Association’s (AdvaMed) comments on 21st Century Cures: A Call to Action Submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. AdvaMed enthusiastically supports the call to action issued by Chairman Upton, Representative DeGette, and the Energy and Commerce Committee. The medical technology industry is central to the development of medical devices and diagnostics that will provide the life-saving and life-enhancing treatments of the future. But the innovation ecosystem that supports our industry is severely stressed. Policy improvements are essential if America is to retain its world leadership and the potential for medical progress in this century of the life sciences is to be fulfilled. The opportunity for better treatments and cures is immense, but patients will only reap the benefits if the ecosystem is strengthened. Failure to act will mean lost lives, unnecessary suffering, reduced job formation, and diminished economic growth. Read the full letter here (pdf).

June 2014Ohio Health Exchange Fact Sheet. PhRMA releases an excellent collection of information focused on the state health exchanges. The 51 state fact sheets were compiled by Avalere Health. The key facts for each state include information on deductibles, cost sharing and formulary analysis. Download the Ohio fact sheet here (PDF).

April 28, 2014
Patent Coalition Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. BioOhio joined fellow bioscience associations and organizations around the country who represent thousands of innovative companies, universities, organizations and millions of workers in the United States to write to express our serious concerns with the direction of patent legislation. Read the full letter here (pdf).

April 8-9, 2014
BioOhio’s President and CEO, John Lewis, Jr., was once again in Washington, DC for BIO’s Legislative Day Fly-In. John joined other bioscience associations and executives from bioscience companies from around the country to engage with members of congress and senior staff about important issues facing our industry. Read the report about this trip on our blog.

March 20, 2014
BioOhio joined other Ohio organizations, on behalf of the seniors, patients, and healthcare providers in Ohio they represent, to strongly urge opposition to any Congressional action that would make further cuts to the Medicare Part B drug reimbursement program. Download copies of letters sent to Speaker John A. Boehner and Representative Patrick J. Tiberi.

March 19, 2014
BioOhio held its annual Statehouse Day & Reception at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. Eleven of our member companies had meetings with Ohio legislators during the day, followed by an evening reception where members and legislators came together to network.

February 26, 2014
The following is an open letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, organized by the Healthcare Leadership Council. BioOhio is among the 250 organizations that have signed on to support this position. Click here to read the full letter.

February 19, 2014 – PhRMA releases 2014 Report on Medicines in Development for Diabetes. America’s biopharmaceutical research companies currently are developing 180 innovative new medicines to help the nearly 400 million people who have diabetes worldwide. These medicines in development – all either in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include 30 for type 1 diabetes, 100 for type 2 and 52 for diabetes-related conditions, according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Read the full report here.

February 13, 2014
BioOhio’s President and CEO, John Lewis, Jr., was in Washington DC on Feb 13th with AdvaMed, and visited 12 of Ohio’s federal legislators.  Thanks to Johnson & Johnson who allowed Greg Aronin to join John for meetings. Discussions were primarily about the Medical Device Tax, FDA User Fees, Increase in NIH Funding, Patent Trolling, and Diagnostic Testing fees.

December 13, 2013
BioOhio joined over 40 Ohio stakeholders, representing many of the more than 40,000 jobs that the medical device industry is responsible for in Ohio, to urge repeal the medical device tax. Click here to read the full letter.

Archived Activity (not comprehensive)

December 2012-January 2013
Arranged several Ohio legislator visits at BioOhio member companies to highlight the importance of Ohio’s biomedical industry. Rep. Nan Baker visited IMARC Research, Rep. Sandra Williams met with the CleveMed team, Rep. Tim Derickson discussed workforce at DG Medical, and Rep. Cheryl Grossman visited Navidea Biopharmaceuticals.

October-November 2012
Supported multiple outreach and advocacy efforts of AdvaMed and MDMA calling for the repeal of the medical device tax.

September 2012
Helped arrange a tour of Novella Clinical, a BioOhio member in Columbus, for U.S. Representative Pat Tiberi (OH-12). We Work for Health Ohio provided logistics support.

July 2012
Hosted a one-hour Ohio Bioscience Industry Update for Ohio’s Congressional delegation in the Capitol Visitors Center at the invitation of Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, and Representative Steve Stivers.

May-June 2012
On May 14, hosted AdvaMed press conference on challenges facing medical device industry, including the 2.3% medical device sales tax.
Very active in correspondence with Ohio’s U.S. Congressional delegation on PDUFA, MDUFA, and medical device tax.
On June 13 and 15, assisted We Work for Health with press conferences in Columbus and Cincinnati to release results of clinical trials economic impact study.

March-April 2012
Hosted advocacy and networking event in the Statehouse Atrium on March 14.
Helped launch We Work for Health Coalition with Ohio Chamber of Commerce and PhRMA.
Coordinated Dr. Jill Biden and Secy. of Labor Hillary Solis workforce-related visit to DG Medical in Centerville.

January-February 2012
Supported Senator Sherrod Brown’s visit to Cincinnati State in January to tour biomedical workforce retraining classes.
Represented Ohio’s biomedical industry at the Columbus Business Leaders’ Briefing at the White House on Feb. 7.
Helping JobsOhio develop a Biohealth strategic plan.
Coordinated sign-on letter to Ohio’s Congressional delegation for members to support medical device tax repeal legislation.

November-December 2011
A BioOhio op-ed advocating for repeal of the medical device excess tax was published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Columbus Business First.
BioOhio supported BIO’s efforts in asking Congress to extend the Therapeutic Discovery Project in 2012. BioOhio added its name, and offered BioOhio members the opportunity to add their name, to a letter to be sent to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee leadership in early December.

Autumn 2011
BioOhio supported efforts and positions of BIO, AdvaMed, MDMA, and PhRMA with letters, calls, and collaborative events. Issues of interest included repeal of the medical device tax, biosimilars, job creation legislation, Medicare reimbursement changes, and FDA.
In November, BioOhio attended a BIO Fly-In on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation to advocate for passage of the Life Sciences Re-investment Act (S. 1410 and HR 2632). Under the bill, companies could elect an increased tax credit from 20-40% for the first $150 million of bioscience research. Or, alternatively, a company or individual could return up to $150 million in foreign earnings into the U.S. at a 5.25% tax rate as long as it was invested in new bioscience jobs, R&D, or infrastructure.

June 2011
BioOhio hosted a Capitol Hill Luncheon, featuring Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Executives from leading Ohio bioscience organizations (BioOhio members) filled the meeting room for a wide-ranging discussion on issues important to continued growth of bioscience business in Ohio and the nation, such as: workforce development and attraction, the Therapeutic Discovery Project tax credit, health care reform implications and opportunities, NIH and SBIR funding,and the FDA.

May 2011
Represented Ohio’s biomedical interests at the BIO Legislative Day Fly-In, Washington, D.C. Met with several members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation, educating them on Ohio’s bioscience industry growth and advocating for initiatives that support innovation, job creation, and entrepreneurship.

April 2011
BioOhio weighed in on the patent reform legislation (H.R. 1249) currently being considered by Congress with a letter to Congressman Chabot and Congressman Jordan, both members of the House committee. BioOhio aligns with BIO on this issue and will continue to monitor the legislation as it proceeds through the process.

March 2011
BioOhio hosted Statehouse Day and Reception on March 22. Best turnout of members and legislators ever. Individual meetings held before the reception were focused on member-specific needs, while also promoting BioOhio’s statewide agenda.

February 2011
BioOhio President and CEO Tony Dennis spoke to the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee about the importance of the bioscience industry to Ohio’s overall economy. Legislators were very interested in learning more and asked a variety of questions ranging from how to improve the business climate to how to ensure that companies can meet their workforce needs.

January 2011
BioOhio met with Congressman Jim Jordan to advocate for the protection of ARRA funding that was awarded to BioOhio in early 2010 from stimulus funding backlash in Congress. This $5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant is being used to launch a transformational initiative to revolutionize the way bioscience education is delivered by the community college system to Ohio’s bioscience companies. In addition to one-on-one meetings on this topic, BioOhio sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner.


September-November 2010
Presented Representative Sandra Williams (HD 11-Cleveland) with a Legislator of the Year award for her work as Chair of the House Economic Development Committee. Visited targeted offices in Washington, D.C. to gain support from key legislators for upcoming BioOhio initiatives. Presented Rep. Jay Goyal (HD 73-Mansfield) with a Legislator of the Year award for his work with the bioscience industry. Honored U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown for his support of economic development and workforce initiatives benefiting the bioscience industry. Presented Representative Bill Coley (HD 55-Middletown) with a Legislator of the Year award for his work with the bioscience industry. Working with AdvaMed to safeguard the 510k medical device approval process at FDA.

July 2010
Visited members of the Ohio Delegation offices in Washington to educate them on the bioscience industry, projects of importance and strategies to remain competitive in the future.

May 2010
Tony Dennis testified in opposition to SB 243, legislation that originally criminalized ethical and useful forms of therapeutic stem cell research. Tony spoke about the economic impact of making Ohio less friendly for researchers and the importance of supporting innovation in order to remain competitive internationally.

March 2010
Joined BIO and AdvaMed in opposition to the device tax, which was included in the final version of the Affordable Care Act. Called all of the Ohio Delegation to inform about the potential negative impact on the industry in Ohio. Signed onto letters of opposition. Hosted BioOhio Statehouse Day.

February 2010
Coordinated bioscience company tours for State Representative Todd Book and State Representative Allan Sayre in Athens, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Assisted the House Agriculture Committee with language in House Bill 414, a bill establishing standards for the new livestock care board. The committee requested help with language pertaining to animals that are used in bioscience/biomedical research facilities or medical centers.