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CLSA Wire

Please Welcome Ritchard Engelhardt to BayBio

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ritchard Engelhardt to BayBio as our Vice President of Government Affairs. Ritchard’s experience representing the biomedical industry in Sacramento, Washington, DC and other state capitols will serve the BayBio community well as we continue to face policy challenges at the state, local and federal levels.

A former State Senate fellow and legislative aide to Senator Elaine Alquist (D – San Jose), Ritchard is no stranger in the California State Capitol. He developed a strong network with our industry’s policy leaders during his tenure at CHI in Sacramento and while managing state government affairs for BD nationwide.

In his new role at BayBio, Ritchard will leverage his experience managing lobbyists, advising policy makers and staffing legislation to elevate issues of importance to the industry with our partners in Washington, Sacramento and the Bay Area.  California’s protracted budget crisis and the unprecedented political volatility in Washington create many unique legislative challenges for our community.

The challenges also present great opportunities for BayBio. In Sacramento, Ritchard will provide a passionate voice for the industry, educating lawmakers on how existing and proposed regulations affect our ability to research, develop, and manufacture life-saving technologies in the Golden State.  This will help further efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and provide real-world context when legislators propose onerous environmental regulations.  The ongoing budget crisis requires careful attention to tax issues, patient access to care and education funding.

In Washington, several issues heavily influence the industry’s continued innovation, including The America Invents Act, which proposes reforms to the patent process for the first time in more than a dozen years. At the FDA, slow review processes and uncertainty regarding regulatory expectations are forcing innovative companies to seek product approval overseas.  And funding for science, innovation, and small business has flat-lined in recent years.  With a Congress focused on fiscal austerity, the industry will need to clearly explain the return on investment we provide to the economy and the increased quality of life for millions of Americans.

Having worked with Ritchard during my tenure at BayBio, I am extremely excited to have him join our team in the Bay Area. His talent and respect among his colleagues will help BayBio collaborate more closely with affiliated organizations, such as AdvaMed, BIO, BIOCOM, CHI, MDMA and others to create a strong, unified voice before policy makers.

Please join me in welcoming Ritchard to the Bay Area.  He can be reached by email at ritchard@baybio.org or at (650) 871-7101, Ext. 217.