Assembly Health considered a number of Senate bills today, including SB 971 (Pavley) which sets standards for the handling of blood clotting products. The President of the Poway Hemophilia Society testified in support. Vice Chairman Nathan Fletcher, who represents Poway, supported the bill saying “you had me at
Discussion over some of the other bills was less jovial, with consumer advocates, industry representatives, and Members from both sides of the aisle engaged in heated debate over prescription drug labeling, timely access for school children, smoking cessation, and other issues.
SB 1200 (Leno) addresses the issue of timely access to care for children who may need to receive routine care or treatments at school during the school day. Significant numbers of
Opponents contended that asking insurers to pay for covered services that are provided by school nurses is no more than an attempt to force health insurance companies to contribute to the public school system. Proponents argue that it is not right for insurers to not cover their policyholders as soon as they step foot on the school yard.
The bill passed along party lines and moves on to Appropriations.
SB 1390 (Corbett) attempts to require readable prescription drug labels. The bill would require that drug labels be printed in 12 point font, and that translation services be provided to Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients in order to reduce the devastating human and financial costs that can be associated with misuse or misdosage of prescription drugs. This is a follow up from SB472, an earlier law by Senator Corbett.
Heated debate centered around disagreement over the series of events that led to the current (inadequate) Board of Pharmacy standards for prescription labeling, that were supposed to implement the needs and concerns of consumers as expressed in the stakeholder process for the earlier SB 472. Opponents further argued against providing translated materials to patients due to concerns about accuracy. Assemblymember Strickland claimed that translations could be “wrong,” and that “no one” could possibly verify accuracy of translations.
But sometimes the simplest arguments are the best, and Betsy Imholz from the Consumers
Other lively debates resulted in close passage of 2 bills by Senator Leland Yee, SB 220 requiring health plans to cover smoking cessation and SB 1106 which would require that patients who get drug samples also receive the same drug information that is provided to patients who get their drugs from pharmacies.