Join Life Science Tennessee’s Good Policy Campaign, a state-wide effort that supports state and national policies that help build our industry in Tennessee and expand our reach across the world. Today, the life science industry in Tennessee employs more than 40,000 people at an average wage of $83,000 per year.
Together the life science industry is one of the most compelling and important industries in our state and our nation. We create and deliver cutting edge advances in health care; we bring fuel for our industrial economy; and we support advances in plant and animal technology to bring food for a growing and healthier world population.
Join our Good Policy Campaign and be a part of developing “good policy” for the life science industry!
Leading Good Policy Agenda Items
Recognize the Value of Medical Advances
New therapies, such as cancer immunotherapies, a cure for hepatitis C and highly effective cholesterol drugs, are transforming care for patients fighting debilitating diseases. These innovations limit the growth of health care costs overall by effectively treating patients and keeping them out of hospitals. Many companies in Tennessee research and develop life-saving drugs and therapies, while providing high-paying jobs to Tennesseans.
Life Science Tennessee urges caution regarding rhetoric and drug pricing or transparency legislation that single out the pharmaceutical industry in health care cost concerns. While we welcome a factual public debate on the subject, we emphasize the true complexity involved in pricing drugs, as well as the value that these drugs bring to patients and our overall health care system. Despite concerns over drug costs, the share of spending on retail medicines remains the same as it was 50 years ago.
Government actuaries project the share of health care spending attributable to drugs will continue to grow in line with overall health care cost growth for at least the next 10 years. We recognize the need to have a broad discussion on the overall cost of care and how the health care system as a whole can deliver the highest quality of care to patients.
Medical Device Tax Repeal
The medical device excise tax became part of the Internal Revenue Code due to the Affordable Care Act. Life Science companies have remained steadfast in opposition to the tax. The tax impedes research and development and therefore prevents patients from getting new, innovative medical technologies. According to a 2014 survey, 85% of Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) members would reinstate cancelled R&D projects if the device tax were repealed.
According to a national BIO association study based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, more than 8,000 Tennesseans are employed by the medical device industry, many of those in Memphis’ orthopedic device industry. The total life science industry represents more than 40,000 jobs.
LST appreciates that Congress approved a two-year suspension of the device tax in 2015, which allowed companies to put money back into research and innovation to ultimately address the needs of patients. Full repeal of the device tax will provide medical technology innovators the long-term certainty necessary to support job growth and the cutting-edge R&D that will ultimately lead to the next generation of breakthroughs in patient care and treatment.