March 18, 2020
Brought to You by
Keep your finger on the pulse of the most critical issues facing the industry, our Members and Patients with BioNJ's bi-weekly Public Policy Update .

Because Patients Can't Wait ®
Coronavirus Update Out of Trenton
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Murphy has declared a state of emergency as well as a public health emergency to ensure New Jersey. 

On March 16, the Governor issued an Executive Order implementing “aggressive social distancing measures” to help stop the spread of the virus. The Executive Order closed most large gathering places, such as movie theaters, bars, and restaurants, and limited gatherings to no more than 50 people. The order also closed all public and private schools in the State. 

In general, manufacturing, research and development, and logistics businesses are not included in the executive order and can operate as necessary. However, the order does encourage a conservative interpretation of social distancing guidelines, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as six feet, or two meters. For example, 50 people spread out throughout a manufacturing facility would not fall under “mass gathering.” On the other hand, employers should not call more than 50 employees into one room or other place at once. BioNJ Members are encouraged to visit for a list of frequently asked questions on the Executive Order and other state COVID-19 activities. Questions can also be asked via chat on the web site or by calling 1-800-JERSEY-7. 
BioNJ Trenton Update
The New Jersey Legislature is preparing to examine Governor Murphy’s proposed 2021 State budget. Governor Murphy’s detailed budget has been released, including additional details on a proposed $20 million “opioid assessment” and a tripling – to $3 million in 2021 – of the budget for the State’s Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology.  
Meanwhile, New Jersey Senate President Sweeney and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced an agreement to save taxpayers and educators around $1 billion.  
Senator Lagana, Assemblywoman Swain Tour PsychoGenics
BioNJ was proud to host Sen. Joseph Lagana and Assemblywoman Lisa Swain for a site visit to BioNJ Member PsychoGenics in Paramus, NJ. Senator Lagana and Assemblywoman Swain toured the facility while hearing additional information regarding PsychoGenics work in researching and developing treatments in mental health and other disease states. We thank Senator Lagana and Assemblywoman Swain for their interest in Bergen County’s biopharmaceutical sector, and we look forward to working with them to ensure New Jersey remains a hub for innovation and cures.  
Support BioNJ’s Public Policy Work
BioNJ is New Jersey’s biopharmaceutical trade association, working to ensure New Jersey’s life sciences ecosystem remains vibrant and a global hub for biopharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. BioNJ’s Public Policy Support Series helps BioNJ keep these issues at the forefront. BioNJ’s Public Policy Support Series sponsorship opportunities are still available for 2020, helping BioNJ deliver our message in both Trenton and Washington, D.C. More information is available here.   
Coronavirus Update
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States and elsewhere around the globe, Congress quickly passed bipartisan legislation to fund the nation’s response to the outbreak. The $8.3 billion funding package includes more than $3 billion in funding aimed at developing treatments and vaccines for the virus as well as $1 billion in funding to procure biopharmaceuticals and other supplies for state and local health agencies where there may be supply shortages. BioNJ thanks the members of our congressional delegation for their support of this important funding package. 

Congress also negotiated a second package to bolster the public health response to the outbreak, the final details of which are expected to be announced in the coming days. BioNJ will continue to provide updates on the package as they become available.

Additional information on BioNJ’s Coronavirus preparedness work is available here .
BioNJ, Others Submit Importation Comments
BioNJ joined dozens of other state biotech leaders and the Council of State Bioscience Associations in comments to the Trump Administration on its proposal to allow for the importation of prescription treatments. BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart is the Chair of the Council of State Bioscience Associations. BioNJ has long believed that importation is not a workable solution to lowering Patient costs at the pharmacy counter. Instead, importation could jeopardize Patient safety while doing little to lower actual treatment costs for American consumers.  Click here to read the comment letter.  
Rep. Gottheimer Hosts Rare Disease Roundtable, Announces Orphan Drug Research Legislation
U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) hosted a rare disease roundtable featuring Patient advocates, life sciences leaders and others. Rep. Gottheimer also announced the introduction of “Cameron’s Law,” bipartisan legislation sponsored with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to restore the Orphan Drug Research Tax Credit to pre-2017 levels. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act halved the Orphan Drug Research Tax Credit and Rep. Gottheimer’s legislation would restore the credit to its previous level. BioNJ thanks Congressman Gottheimer for his continued support of both innovation and Patients.   
CMS Releases Final Health Data Rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a set of two final rules related to the privacy of Patient data. The two rules, from CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), are intended to allow better Patient access to health care data to help make more informed health care choices. The rules implement provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act and would ensure Patient access to their data while improving interoperability of health information between providers.
President Trump Delivers Drug Pricing “Principles” to Congress
President Donald Trump has delivered his principles for drug pricing reform to Capitol Hill. The President’s principles support lowering out-of-pocket costs for Patients at the pharmacy counter on an annual and monthly basis. BioNJ supports legislative proposals that both protect innovation and deliver lower costs and greatest access to Patients. We look forward to working with our Congressional delegation during the remainder of 2020 to improve Patient access to lifesavings cures.
Thank You To Our Public Policy Support Series Sponsors