Jarrell Cook

Bills targeting drug manufacturers move forward

By Jarrell Cook, Legislative Manager, Government Relations

Capitol Update, July 7, 2017 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Two bills targeting the pharmaceutical industry have recently moved out of their respective policy committees in their second houses. AB 265 (Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg) would ban pharmaceutical manufacturers from offering copay coupons to assist Californians with paying their premiums. SB 17 (Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa) would require drug makers to give drug purchasers 90 days’ notice before increasing the price of a drug, as well as provide a report of the specific financial and nonfinancial factors that led to the decision for increasing the price. CMTA has previously covered these bills here and here.

As the fight for single payer healthcare has fizzled for now, advocates, like billionaire activist Tom Steyer, are attempting to pressure the legislature to pass these other bills as a substitute for healthcare reform. Biotech manufacturers are serving as an outlet for frustration with larger concerns over healthcare.

Legislators should not succumb to the whims of that frustration without considering the impact these bills will have on how pharmaceutical manufacturers attract investors or recoup capital spent on researching and developing lifesaving treatments. Neither AB 265  or SB 17 approach the true problem of lowering patients’ out-of-pocket costs and the price of insurance premiums. Just the opposite. Instead of helping Californians, these measures target an easy scapegoat in this political climate.

For more information on these and related issues, please contact Jarrell Cook, Associate Policy Director for Governmental Relations at jcook@cmta.net or by phone 916-498-3356.

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