By Jarrell Cook, Associate Policy Director
The increased anxiety over health care in our current political climate has led to increased scrutiny over the pricing of prescription drugs at the legislature. On January 31, Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) introduced AB 265, which prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from offering Californians “any discount, rebate, product voucher, or other reduction” in their copayment, deductible, or other out-of-pocket expense if a lower cost equivalent – generic or brand name – is available.
The bill would make offering a discount a crime under the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law. The bill appears to be an outgrowth of the hearings Wood held last October as chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee on rising prescription drug prices.
In the Senate, Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa), chair of the Senate Health Committee, introduced SB 17 in December, also related to regulating prescription drug prices. The bill would state the Legislature’s intent to enact legislation requiring that sellers of prescription drugs give purchasers of health care and health care coverage advance notice of any increases to the price of prescription drugs as well as justification for that increase.
The Assembly Health Committee has a hearing scheduled on February 14 at 1:30pm in Room 4202 at the Capitol to continue discussing the ‘Impact of Rising Drug Costs on Public and Private Payers.’ CMTA will be following any new developments that may impact pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Capitol updates archive