As the nation recovers from the recent presidential election, the Texas legislature gears up for a new session in January.
Because the legislature only meets every other year, experts in the state’s life sciences industry are also preparing to put their initiatives in front of policymakers.
It was standing room only in the TMC Innovation Institute classroom Thursday as BioHouston hosted the “Legislative Outlook 2017: What Lies Ahead for the Texas Life Science Industry.” The event laid out topics and trends with potential impact for companies and institutions committed to research, therapeutics and making medical devices.
Leading the discussion were Tom Kowalski, president and CEO of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI), and Cam Scott, senior director of Texas Government Relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
The Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute is the Texas policy voice for the life science industry. Cancer is one of its top priorities, and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) program is a major legislative initiative that give grants to entities studying prevention and early detection. CPRIT is one of four key topics for the life sciences industry as the Texas legislature heads into session in January. Here is what Kowalski and Scott said about each one:
Four percent budget cut: The legislature is being asked to make budget cuts across the board. Kowalski and Scott think this could impact the university health science centers that receive state funding, as they would have to look elsewhere to make up those funds.
CPRIT: Each legislative session has to appropriate $300 million for the program to be able to allocate funds. As the legislature is looking to cut costs, monies going to CPRIT could be affected, though Kowalski and Scott are optimistic it won’t be. It helps that there is a bill going in front of the legislature to address research and development tax credits (HB 800).
Workforce: THBI has formed a coalition to investigate what Texas will look like in 30 years. One of the key areas of focus is workforce initiatives, including sustaining enough people to keep the life sciences industry going.
Health plans: Many health plans are looking at controlling rebates and formularies (official lists of medicines) in Texas. Kowalski and Scott say drug-making is costly and time-consuming.
Veterans ask, VA answers: Questions on electronic health record modernization. https://t.co/IkeHFZV0zn via #VAntagePoint
103-year-old WWII Veteran finally gets the recognition he deserves https://t.co/shJIdq9Ju9 via @CBSEveningNews
Watch to learn how we’re enhancing the ability of patients’ own T cells to fight cancer. #endcancer https://t.co/sFMz5eExco
Today’s rising #livercancer rates have been driven by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is linked to obesity.But our experts are working with @ScrippsHealth to study an #immunotherapy combination to treat liver cancer and save lives: https://t.co/uwAhLH51uk #endcancer
College of Charleston looks to send dozens of Valentine’s Day cards to Veterans https://t.co/fFqeaN3T7o via @ABCNews4
Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D., discusses taking risks in science and what the Translational Research Institute for Space Health is doing to help people in space with @InnoMapHou. https://t.co/wbML42L9Wb #space #spacemedicine
Never-smoker Chuck Martinez explains how @MDAProtons helped him overcome #lungcancer with minimal side effects: https://t.co/fpitho7qXV #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
RT @bcm_ocd: Check out this chapter by our researchers in new book Exposure Therapy for Children with Anxiety and OCD. "Efficacy of exposur…
RT @BCMHoustonJobs: Can you recommend anyone for this job in #Houston, TX? https://t.co/mzmp0HSDDd #Healthcare
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UH_Pharmacy: Breaking: With 100% chance of rain for Wed, Jan. 22, the "Shine A Light on Mental Health" fair from noon to 2 pm has been…
For the second consecutive year, Transplant Services at @TexasChildrens was named the top pediatric transplant center in the US, performing a remarkable 106 solid organ transplants in 2019. Learn more: https://t.co/iR6xO02dTC https://t.co/aOPfISdYhs
University of Houston@UHouston
Which Shasta are YOU? Check out our new Instagram face effects, available now! https://t.co/POQlqNnN3W
Join us this Saturday, January 25 for All About HER! (Health, Emotions & Relationships) at @TexasChildrens The Woodlands! To register, visit: https://t.co/7dqWlmWZOg https://t.co/J84AYU8aZW
Feeling the love on #NationalHugDay 🤗 #AstrosCaravan @OrbitAstros @astros https://t.co/fqD7iWP7AH
Belly fat, more than excess weight, may be a factor in the risk for multiple heart attacks, according to a new study. Tackle that belly fat with a heart-healthy diet and exercise. https://t.co/8f3YKQOlPJ via @CNN https://t.co/bDi6EYVVHZ