BioForward is actively engaged with community partners, elected officials, state agencies and industry partners to meet the challenges of combating the coronavirus and demonstrating that Wisconsin can help lead the nation through this healthcare crisis.
- Eight Madison-area community providers serving people with developmental disabilities and seniors received much-needed PPE as they battle the spreading coronavirus as a result of a donation from BioForward. BioForward is proud to coordinate this effort to provide PPE in response to the coronavirus pandemic and support local community-based organizations as they continue with their work to serve individuals in need throughout WI.
- BioForward is working closely with groups at UW Madison and in SE Wisconsin helping them source suppliers and working for them on liability and regulatory concerns as they rapidly design and manufacture critically needed personal protection equipment (PPE) such as surgical and N95 masks. Wisconsin is fortunate to have such dedicated and collaborative research universities and private companies working together to meet this challenge.
Although COVID-19 seems to be the complete focus for all of us, BioForward continues to work on advocacy issues that are impacting us relating to COVID-19 and legislation that impacts our businesses beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The following are legislative actions that we have supported and are monitoring:
- Clarification of Eligibility for Small Businesses with Equity Investors under the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program within the CARES Act. BioForward signed onto a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza to issue guidance that clarifies the affiliation rules so that small businesses with equity investors qualify under the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act Section of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- Proposed Executive Order on “Buy American” and Defense Production Act Designation for Health-Related Goods Production. BioForward signed onto a letter that recommends to the Administration that repatriating supply chains for the production of essential medicines should be deferred until the current national emergency is past. The Administration should focus on measures to facilitate production of key products and avoid undermining current production that relies in part on global value chains.
- Monitoring Wisconsin COVID-19 Emergency Orders. As reported previously, BioForward and its partners, proactively worked with the Governor’s Office on Safe at Home language that provided exemptions to Wisconsin’s biohealth industry. We continue to monitor any emergency orders that could impact our industry. Emergency Order #12 – DHS Safer at Home Emergency Order issued on March 24, 2020: https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf
Wisconsin COVID-19 Links: The following links will take you to Wisconsin-specific information on the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Department of Health Services (DHS) Information: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm
- Link to DHS Situation Report -Wisconsin – March 25, 2020: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02624-2020-03-25.pdf . This report contains links to all press releases and orders, details on each county and updated on all DHS activities related to the virus.
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website on Essential Businesses: https://wedc.org/essentialbusiness/
- Frequently Asked Questions: https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/Safer%20at%20Home%20FAQ%203.24.20.pdf
- DATCP COVID-19 Information and Resources: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/Covid19.aspx
- Department of Transportation (DOT) COVID-19 Information: https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/covid-19.aspx[LJ1]
- Wisconsin Drug Pricing Task Force. BioForward has been attending these monthly meetings to monitor presentations and potential actions from this task force. Due to COVID-19 emergency orders, the March meeting was canceled. https://rxdrugtaskforce.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx
- SEC Regulatory Changes Provide Small Biotech Companies Relief from Burdensome Requirements.https://www.bio.org/press-release/sec-regulatory-changes-provide-small-biotech-companies-relief-burdensome-requirements
Stay united with BioForward. We have developed a Coronavirus Resource page that has extensive information relating to advocacy, operations, federal initiatives, BIO podcasts where you hear directly from biopharma on their initiatives related to therapeutics and vaccines.