Opportunity to comment on new reporting rule at CMS

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs



The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS ) announced today a proposed rule that will increase public awareness of financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and certain health care providers.  This is one of many steps under the Affordable Care Act designed to increase transparency in the health care system, which can lead to better care at lower costs.Continue reading

One step closer on the road to SBIR Reauthorization

The SBIR/STTR program has not been reauthorized yet but we are one step closer as the December 16th deadline approaches.

Monday (December 12, 2012) word of a Senate/House compromise was announced that may lead to a positive outcome that would reauthorize the SBIR/STTR program for six years.  This would be a huge improvement over the multiple short term extensions we have seen  in recent years. Continue reading

Making Sense of the Medical Device Tax

Estimated at $20B, the Medial Device Tax was included in the Affordable Care Act that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The amount is based on a 2.3% excise tax that will be levied on the total revenues of a company, regardless of whether a company generates a profit, starting in 2013.

While many industry groups including AZBio, AdvaMed, and MDMA have been sharing information on why this tax is unwise and have worked to explain the negative effects that it could have on innovation and patient care, there is always the possibility that it will not be repealed before 2013.

Ernst and Young recently published a Tax Note on the Medical Device Tax that gives a comprehensive overview of what it is, who it affects and how they will be affected.  The tax note is provided below as published by E&Y and is shared with permission.Continue reading

AZ teams develop defensive measures toward a vaccine for Ebola

On Aug. 26, 1976, a time bomb exploded in Yambuku, a remote village in Zaire, (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). A threadlike virus known as Ebola had emerged, soon earning a grim distinction as one of the most lethal, naturally occurring pathogens on earth, killing up to 90 percent of its victims, and producing a terrifying constellation of symptoms known as hemorrhagic fever.

Now, Charles Arntzen, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, along with colleagues from ASU, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD, have made progress toward a vaccine against the deadly virus.    Read more @ ASU Biodesign

AZBio Viewpoint – Key Issues and Actions for 2012

Beginning in November 2011, AZBio reached out across Arizona and asked our community to rate the importance of key factors related to the growth of our bioscience industry here in Arizona as well as what areas AZBio should focus on in 2012 on a rating scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

What do AZ Bioscience companies need to thrive? Of fifteen issues, here are your top five areas based on the number of 4’s and 5’s combined.

  1. State and local policies that promote the attraction and growth of companies in the  Arizona Bioscience Industry. (80% rated this a 4 or 5) 
  2. Access to a qualified bioscience talent pool (75% rated this a 4 or 5) 
  3. Improving the quality of our Arizona educational system overall (71% rated this 4 or 5)
  4. Access to growth capital  (63% rated this a 4 or 5)  
  5. State financial support for the continued growth of Arizona’s independent research institutions and universities (61% rated this a 4 or 5)

Where can AZBio make the most impact?  Where should we focus our resources?

  1. Working with Angels, Venture Capital, and Financial Institutions to expand opportunities for Arizona Bioscience Companies to access growth capital. (78% rated this a 4 or 5)
  2. Advocating for our industry at the state and local level (75% rated this a 4 or 5)  
  3. Spreading the word about the  value created by Arizona’s Bioscience Industry (71% rated this a 4 or 5)  
  4. Working with educators to promote interest in bioscience education and for their students, interest and preparation for bioscience careers.  
  5. Advocating for our industry and state in Washington, D.C. (70% rated this a 4 or 5)

 Stay Tuned in December for a sneak peek at AZbio’s Plans for 2012.