Prescription Drugs

Governor Newsom Signs AB 824 to Lower Prescription Drug Costs in First Health Care Bill Signing Event

California Governor Gavin Newsom today signed the biggest prescription drug price bill of the year, intended to lower prescription drug prices for California consumers by hundreds of millions of dollars a year. During the first-ever health care bill signing event under the new Administration, Newsom signed AB 824, authored by Assemblymember Wood and sponsored by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to deter harmful “pay-for-delay” practices by pharmaceutical and generic drug manufacturers. Health Access was proud to join Governor Newsom for the bill’s signing, along with many of the health, consumer, senior, labor, and other groups that supported the bill throughout the legislative session, which together overcame well-financed opposition from prescription drug companies which sought to weaken the legislation.With Governor Newsom’s signing of AB […] Read More

In a Win for Consumers, AG Becerra Announces $70 Million Pay-For-Delay Settlement

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced four settlements totaling nearly $70 million in payments against pharmaceutical companies for participating in harmful “pay-for-delay” deals that keep lower-priced generic medications off the market for longer, reducing competition and arbitrarily keeping life-saving medications more expensive for consumers.  According to the AG, this is the largest settlement of this kind received by any state in the nation. These settlements are also the first time any state has secured an injunction against future pay-for-delay agreements. This announcement highlights the need for AB 824 by Assemblymember Jim Wood, which would help to deter many of these deals from occurring in the first place, and bring relief faster. AB 824 has already received strong support from […] Read More

On 100th Day, Governor Newsom Announces New Partner on Prescription Drug Purchasing Pool

On his 100th day in office, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with Los Angeles County on prescription drug purchasing, putting together the power of the country’s biggest state and county for the biggest discounts and lower prices needed for medications. The State of California and Los Angeles County buy drugs for similar purposes and populations and can leverage their power against the price-gouging of the pharmaceutical companies. Consumer groups see a lot of great potential in this new purchasing pool proposal savings for these state and county programs and the public in general. Californians now have a bigger leverage to get better deals. The biggest state and the biggest county in the nation should be able to get bigger […] Read More

Legislation to Deter ‘Pay for Delay’ Agreements Passes Key Judiciary Committee

A first-of-its-kind state legislation to prevent “pay-for-delay” pharmaceutical company pricing practices passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee today with bipartisan support. The California bill seeks to prevent brand name drug manufacturers offering patent settlements to pay generic companies to delay the introduction of lower-price medication to the market. The bill, AB 824 authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood and sponsored by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, curbs this practice that reduces competition and arbitrarily keeps life-saving medications more expensive. These collusive agreements harm consumers. A 2010 study by the Federal Trade Commissioner concluded that these collusive pay-for-delay agreements cost consumers $3.5 billion each year in higher costs for prescription drugs. This means Californians would save hundreds of millions of dollars a year if […] Read More

New Bill to Lower Drug Prices Targets Practice of “Pay-for-Delay”

Consumer advocates cheered the introduction of a bill to address the outrageous pharmaceutical company practice of “pay for delay,” where drug manufacturers offer patent settlements to pay generic companies to delay the introduction of lower-price medication to the market. According to an FTC study, “these anti-competitive deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year.” The new bill, AB 824, was announced today by Assemblymember Jim Wood and Attorney General Xavier Becerra at a joint press conference. When drug companies pay to prevent a lower-price medication from entering the market, we all pay more, at the pharmacy and in our premiums. With this bill, California can take the lead in preventing this problematic, price-gouging practice of pay-for-delay by […] Read More

Court Halts Big Pharma Efforts to Stop California’s Landmark Prescription Drug Price Transparency Law

In a win for consumers, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California today dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to halt California’s landmark drug price transparency law, SB 17, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez in 2017. Last year, PhRMA filed this lawsuit alleging the law as unconstitutional and seeking a permanent injunction preventing its implementation. The U.S. District Court dismissed the suit as PhRMA did not produce enough facts to substantiate their claims or standing. The law that SB 17 implemented requires all drug price hikes over 16% over a two-year span to be subject to transparency requirements, which would discourage double-digit price increases and better negotiations between drug companies and purchasers. […] Read More

President Trump’s 136 Question Marks on Prescription Drug Prices

After multiple reschedules, President Donald Trump gave a speech last week on prescription drug prices, unveiling a plan to address the issue that was underwhelming–several noted that the plan had few specific actions, and in fact literally had 136 question marks. While President Trump prioritized lowering prescription drug prices during his campaign, while in office he has largely capitulated to Big Pharma on a number of occasions. President Trump promised to take on the pharmaceutical industry, but so far has done nothing but check items off their wish list. President Trump campaigned on negotiating down prescription drug prices, but so far only saw fit to offer corporate tax and regulatory giveaways to the PhRMA executives he met with last year. […] Read More

Website for New Prescription Drug Price Transparency Law (SB 17) Now Live

Implementation of the ground-breaking California law to provide transparency and notice of prescription drug price increases is moving ahead full steam. The law will take effect on January 1, 2018, but the the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has already made live the registry for public and private purchasers to receive 60-day notice of future increases. The costs of prescription drugs continue to skyrocket. Consumers are facing price increases on everything from long-time generics used to treat common conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, to new treatments for diseases like hepatitis C. Prices for some generic drugs, including antibiotics and asthma inhalers, have gone up anywhere from 4,000-8,000%. In October, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill […] Read More

Setting National Policy, CA Governor Brown Signs SB 17 on Prescription Drug Price Transparency

This morning, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 17 by Senator Ed Hernandez, nationally influential prescription drug price legislation, at a rare signing ceremony at the State Capitol. The new law will require prescription drug companies to provide advance notice and explanation for any price hike of more than 16% over two years. Despite a heavy lobbying and media campaign by the pharmaceutical industry opposing the bill, SB 17, strongly backed by a broad coalition of consumer, labor, business, insurer, and other health organizations, eventually won overwhelming bipartisan support with a 66-9 vote in the State Assembly, and a 32-8 vote in the State Senate. The bill was co-sponsored by Health Access, the California Labor Federation, and UNITE HERE. With every […] Read More

California Poised to Set National Policy on Prescription Drug Prices

Earlier this week, SB 17, by Senator Ed Hernandez, passed off the Senate floor on a concurrence vote, putting California only a Governor’s signature away from enacting nationally impactful prescription drug price reform. After receiving overwhelming bipartisan support heading out of the State Assembly, the State Senate also affirmed that addressing drug prices increases is a bi-partisan issue, passing SB 17 on a 32-8 vote. SB 17, strongly backed by a broad coalition of consumer, labor, business, insurer, and other health organizations provides advance notice and disclosure of prescription drug prices in order to gain greater transparency for consumers and purchasers. Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition was proud to be a co-sponsor of SB 17 with the […] Read More