Momentum continues to build against secretive prescription drug practices with the introduction of SB 17 (Hernandez) which is being hailed by health care consumers and labor advocates alike. This new bill seeks to advance the pricing transparency efforts of last year’s SB 1010 (Hernandez) and promote fairer market practices for consumers. With EpiPen and other high price prescriptions in the news, there is increased momentum for action on prescription drug prices, given the new members and margins in the California Legislature.
SB 17 was introduced on the first day of the 2017 Legislative Session because the public anger over skyrocketing prescription drug prices is not going away. The outrage over the pricing of EpiPen and other medications continues to grow with every new high-priced drug or unjustified price spike. California can’t allow unexplained price hikes of prescription drugs to continue to harm our health system and our families’ finances.
The close vote on Prop 61, despite Big Pharma having to spend over $120 million to ultimately defeat it, also shows the need for this issue to be addressed legislatively. The time for transparency and prescription drug price reform is now.
Health Access California has long sought to address skyrocketing drug prices and provide transparency to ensure affordable and accessible prescription drugs for Californians. Health Access co-sponsored SB1010 (Hernandez), and supported Senator Hernandez’s SJR 29 on EpiPen pricing in the last days of session. Health Access also sponsored numerous bills on prescription drug prices over the last dozen years, including 2005’s Proposition 79, for which PHRMA broke the record in spending $80 million to oppose it–a record they felt compelled to beat by spending over $120 million against this year’s Proposition 61.