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2018 State Policy Priorities
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2018 State Policy Priorities | Download a PDF version of our priorities here


Historical investments in the life science industry helped Washington become a nationally recognized leader in life science discovery and innovation and led to job grow that was three times the rate of other private sector jobs from 2001-2011.  Today, the industry supports more than 140,000 jobs across the state.  However, growth has slowed in recent years as the state has eliminated or sunset a number of supportive activities including:


  •  The R&D tax credit
  •  Life Science Discovery Fund
  •  The Biotech & Medical Device Manufacturing Tax Credit
  •  The Global Health Fund
  •  The Life Science Sector Lead


Washington continues to have a strong research base, but must actively work to create a supportive environment that enables entrepreneursand companies to convert innovative ideas into marketable new products, services, and jobs.



Grow the life science ecosystem across Washington State and sustain the commercialization and start-up mentoring programs supported by the Life Science Discovering Fund (LSDF), now that the LSDF has been sunset.





1) Support legislation to transfer the responsibility to collect and reinvest the funds owed to the Life Science Discovery Fund to the Commerce Department so that the funds can continue to be used for their original purpose—to support growing the life science ecosystem in Washington State.

2) Fully fund the Life Science Sector Lead position at the Commerce Department.

3) Reauthorize the Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA), which invests funds to create and support a nationally competitive health sciences research cluster in Spokane.

4) Restore the Business & Occupations (B&O) tax credit for research and development, which expired in 2014.

5) Implement assistance programs to accelerate early-stage technology development and product commercialization, such as a matching program to leverage federal SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) grants.



Invest in the research and educational facilities that fuel life science innovation and prepare Washingtonians for careers in life science related fields.






1) Pass the capital budget agreement, which contains funding for:

  • WSU Plant Sciences Building (Pullman)—$52 million to complete the facilitity
  •  WSU Global Animal Health Phase II Building (Pullman)—Of the $38 million requested, $23 million was provided to start construction of the project.
  •  WSU Life Sciences Building (Pullman)—$3 million for predesign/design.
  •  WSU Life Sciences Building (Vancouver)—$500,000 for predesign.
  •  UW Population Health Education Building—$10 million for design funding for a new inter-professional education building supporting all six health science schools.
  •  UW Population Health Facility (IHME & Global Health)—$15 million to supplement the $210 million in philanthropic donations.
  •  UW STEM academic facilities in Bothell and Tacoma- $3.5 million for planning/design.



2) Allocate the funds ($10 million) that were collected for the Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund as specified by the CARE Fund authorizing legislation (RCW 43.348.080).


3) Pass legislation adding Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to the Family Medicine Education Advisory Board.



Prescription Drug Price Transparency & Cost Disclosure Legislation


Recently, bills have been introduced in various states that would require biotechnology companies and in some cases their research partners to track and disclose costs associated with the research, development and manufacturing of innovative drugs and therapies.  Additionally, legislation often requires biotechnology companies to report drug pricing information that is divorced from the actual costs accrued throughout the prescription drug supply chain. 





1) We oppose non-comprehensive price transparency and/or price disclosure legislation that would burden local companies, hurt investment, and not provide transparency to the entire prescription drug supply chain or address patients’ out-of-pocket costs concerns.


A full version LSW’s position on Drug Price Transparency & Cost Disclosure Legislation is available here.

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