Governor Gavin Newsom Signs SB 852, Addressing Prescription Drug Costs

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 28, 2020

Yvonne Vasquez, Communications Associate, Health Access California,, 916-407-70785 (cell)
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California,, 916-870-4782 (cell)


  • SB 852 (Pan) was signed today by Governor Gavin Newsom, this bill would allow the state to contract for the manufacturing of generic medications, to help lower the cost of drugs and increase access to specific generic prescription drugs.
  • Recent OSHPD data shows that the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) of generic drugs had the largest 3-year median increase among drug types, of almost 43%.

SACRAMENTO- Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 852 (Pan) which will allow the state to potentially contract to manufacture generic drugs, lowering costs and increasing access for consumers.

“We should use every tool available, including the contracting power of the state of California, to expand access to life-saving generic prescription drugs. By creating a generic drug label for the state, SB 852 (Pan) will help ensure that Californians have access to more affordable generic medications. Now more than ever, Californians are making hard choices when faced with the rising cost of prescription drugs, even skipping doses all together, and consumers need this relief along with other state and federal remedies,” said Yasmin Peled, Policy and Legislative Advocate at Health Access California. “In this COVID-19 crisis, this innovative effort can help to improve overall public health by helping Californians have more affordable access to medications.”

At the beginning of this year, Governor Newsom announced a number of executive actions to improve the purchasing power of California to bring down drug prices. Consumers would directly benefit from California’s own ability to manufacture needed generic medications like insulin, a drug that has tripled in price over the last decade. “By focusing on public health rather than profit, California can provide useful competition in the generic drug market and ensure that the state is not getting price-gouged when purchasing prescriptions for the millions of Californians in Medi-Cal and other public programs.” said Peled.