BioOhio Update on State Issues & Policy

Bioscience Advocacy in the State of Ohio

BioOhio works in a non-partisan manner with state and federal agencies, officials, and representatives to promote Ohio’s bioscience industry, BioOhio members, and the health and prosperity of Ohio.

Government relations at the state level is focused on working with the DeWine Administration and General Assembly on ways to improve upon policies that retain Ohio companies and attract new bioscience businesses to Ohio.

BioOhio’s government relations partner at the state level is The Credo Company.

If you would like to get involved or have questions about these issues, please contact a member of the BioOhio team.

On this page, you will find summaries and links relevant to BioOhio’s work in state government relations.

• Essential Workers and Vaccinations (2/1/2021) – BioOhio, along with its national partner BIO, has asked Governor DeWine to consider certain bioscience industry personnel who reside and/or work in our state to be considered as essential workers slated to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during the early phases of immunization. Read the full letter here (pdf).

Biennial Operating Budget (H.B. 166):  In the spring and summer of 2019, BioOhio and state advocacy partners worked to mobilize and advocate for many policies supporting the state’s bioscience industry during the crafting of the state’s budget, including:  Keeping the initial International Pricing Index (IPI) language out of the final budget bill;  Allocation of $75 million to the Ohio Third Frontier to expand the reach of its regional Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) programs; and steps toward prescription drug transparency were made by doing away with the current pharmacy benefits system in Medicaid managed care, and reinvesting $100 million back into Ohio pharmacies that lost money through “spread pricing” by PBMs.

Virtual Town HallsBioOhio’s virtual town halls and Friday Forums are constructive, neutral ground for discussion with federal and state legislators, policymakers, and advocates from all political parties and points of view. Past events have featured Sens. Brown and Portman and Reps. Stivers, Joyce, Gonzalez, and Lt. Governor Husted, among others. These roundtables give the community the opportunity to ask questions directly to their representatives and keep policymakers engaged with the industry and what it needs to grow and thrive. Visit the Past Events page for links to previous forums.

The Rare Disease Advisory Council (H.B. 412) (link):  State Reps. Randi Clites (D-Ravenna) and Tim Ginter (R-Salem) co-sponsored House Bill 412, bipartisan legislation that will create the Ohio Rare Disease Advisory Council. BioOhio was written into legislation to participate in the Council and has submitted testimony in July 2020. This Council is officially endorsed by BIO and PhRMA.

Bioscience-related STEM Programs:  BioOhio supports state policies that encourage valuable educational opportunities in Ohio by expanding existing STEM programs and creating new ones. In addition to core components of STEM education, programs should incorporate new disciplines into this valuable curriculum, such as STEM+M, which brings aspects of the medical field into the classroom.

STEP Therapy Reform:  In January 2019, legislation was signed into law reforming how health plans apply requirements to patients needing certain medications. BioOhio is a proud member of the coalition that led efforts to change the law and participated in several Statehouse events promoting this legislation.

The CURE-Multistate Compact Bill:  BioOhio is monitoring the re-introduction of this legislation which would grant financial awards equal to the cumulative cost of an identified disease to taxpayers over 5 years to companies and organizations that find cures for major diseases and would create a new multi-state Solemn Covenant of the States Commission upon enactment by six states.

Ohio Bioscience Researchers Day:  In March 2019, BioOhio partnered with PhRMA and hosted this event at the Ohio Statehouse, giving BioOhio member institutions and company executives, researchers, scientists, and medical liaisons the opportunity to meet directly with their state legislators to discuss groundbreaking bioscience research and innovation happening right here in Ohio.