Fate of controversial California drug price bill up in air - (East Bay Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • California lawmakers are considering legislation that would require drugmakers to notify insurers and health officials regarding certain price hikes, East Bay Times reported Friday.

  • The proposal, which follows criticism over the prices of treatments such as Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi, would force companies to disclose list price increases that would exceed 16 percent over a two-year period, while drugmakers would also have to explain the reasons for the increases.

  • Although three other states have similar measures, California's proposal is considered more comprehensive because it targets both brand-name and generic drugs.

  • California's Senate backed the measure 28-10, while the full Assembly will consider the legislation as soon as next week.

  • "There is a level of frustration with the black box of drug pricing and the uncertainty of price increases and the ability of states to balance their budgets," commented Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, continuing "it' the perfect confluence of circumstances that gives states the impetus to act."

  • Meanwhile, drugmakers contend that the bill is misleading because list prices do not reflect the true cost to consumers due to discounts and rebates.

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