Saturday, 29 February, 2020


California Governor Signs Law To Make Drug Pricing More Transparent

California Governor Signs Law To Make Drug Pricing More Transparent California Governor Signs Law To Make Drug Pricing More Transparent
Bennie Garza | 11 October, 2017, 00:30

"The rich are getting richer". But California's new law represents one of the most important victories for consumers against the power of pharmaceutical corporate interests in American history, and deserves to be celebrated.

The law, SB 17, will require pharmaceutical companies to give 60 days' notice if a drug's price will increase more than 16% over a period of two years. "I applaud the leadership and courage of Governor Brown, Senator Hernandez, my fellow co-author Assemblymember Jim Wood, and the broad coalition of patients, consumers, employers, businesses, labor, and health advocates who worked tirelessly in recent years to get this legislation across the finish line".

Drug companies may think twice about raising prescription drug prices more than 8%/year (or 16%/two years) and triggering the disclosure requirements.

Senate Bill 17, which drew millions in opposition spending from the powerful pharmaceutical industry, is created to arm the state with data on the percentage of health insurance premiums and premium increases that can be attributed to prescription drug costs. "SB 17 will help us understand why so we can prepare for and address the unrelenting price increases".

California health care workers who "willfully and repeatedly" decline to use a senior transgender patient's "preferred name or pronouns" could face punishments ranging from a fine to jail time under a newly signed law.

"There is no evidence that SB 17 will lower drug costs for patients because it does not shed light on the large rebates and discounts insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers are receiving that are not always being passed on to patients", said Priscilla VanderVeer, spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Since the prescription drug market is national, this information will effectively be available nationwide, making the new law a potential game changer in the fight to contain rising prescription drug costs.

So why are drug prices going up so steeply?

A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in September 2016 found 82% of the public polled said they want Medicare to negotiate prices with the companies, something which federal law now prohibits.

PhRMA further argues that SB17 ignores the value drugs bring to the healthcare system and the fact that they are a minority of overall healthcare spending.

More than 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in California are now officially protected under a new state sanctuary law. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), the bill's author and an optometrist.

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