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Public Policy: State Policy Priorities 2016
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Washington’s Life Sciences   - One of the State’s Strongest Economic Drivers

Washington state is fortunate to have a dynamic, diverse and growing statewide life sciences sector. Between 2007 and 2013, life science jobs grew 12 percent while the rest of the private sector grew zero percent. The fifth largest sector in the state, the life sciences employ 34,200 direct jobs and 92,400 total jobs.  Washington must actively work to create and ensure a supportive environment that enables entrepreneurial people and companies to convert innovative ideas into marketable new products, services and jobs.

Favorable Business Climate Critical

Washington needs to retain, recruit and incentivize life science companies to move, remain and grow here in our state by creating a favorable business climate for the sector. In an increasingly competitive environment, 40 other states offer R&D tax credits and other incentives.  Supportive tax policies to retain and help grow life science businesses must continue here in Washington.

Recommendation: Renew state tax incentives for R&D and Sales & Use Tax Deferral Waiver.

Access to Necessary Medicines for Patients- BILL PASSED- Click to Learn More

Biologics are complex medicines manufactured from living organisms. "Biosimilars” are biologic products manufactured using different cell lines and manufacturing processes with the goal of closely mirroring the composition and treatment profile of an innovator product produced by another company.   Due to the innate complexity of biologics in general, however, the production of biosimilar products will invariably lead to some differences between the composition of a biosimilar and the original innovator product, and these differences could potentially lead to clinical differences in a patient’s experience or reaction.  The Federal Food and Drug Administration is in the process of developing and implementing a regulatory pathway for the approval of biosimilars and interchangeable biologic products.  Policy on whether one biologic product may be substituted by dispensers when a different biologic product was prescribed is governed by state law.  Current Washington State law addresses automatic substitution of generics, but does not address substitution of biologics.


Education Key to Growing Innovation and Maintaining Competitiveness

In order to compete, Washington state requires an education system that embodies achievement and accountability. High quality education produces the innovation-ready workforce that fuels the life sciences industry.  Deep cuts of up to 50 percent to the State’s Higher Education Institutions have already been made. The legislature made a modest reinvestment in 2013 to begin to right the ship.

Recommendation:  Continue the reinvestment in higher education to ensure access, quality and affordability.

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