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Drug Transparency Bill Passes Assembly Health Committee

  

A key committee in the California Legislature has passed a prescription drug transparency bill after an hour-long debate Tuesday.

The bill would require drug manufacturers to give advance notice to purchasers when prices increase by more than 10 percent or when a new drug costs more than $10,000.

Sen. Ed Hernandez, D- West Covina, introduced the bill. He says lawmakers should work to ensure affordability since individuals are required to purchase health insurance.

“I don’t believe in price fixing, says Hernandez. I believe in the open market. I believe that all businesses should compete and now we’re requiring individuals to purchase this so we have to make sure that there is the best possible price for the consumer.

Opponents of the bill voiced numerous concerns, including that it won't reduce drug costs and doesn't take into account what insurers and pharmacies may be doing to drive costs for consumers.

“We share the author’s concerns about access and affordability, but we oppose this bill because we believe it seeks selective information that won’t meaningfully inform the health care costs dialogue or help patients,” says Mike Carpenter, a representative from California Life Sciences Association.

The legislation will now move on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.