Assembly Committee Votes Down Legislation on Pharmacy Mailings
On Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee unanimously rejected a bill (SB 1096) that would have allowed pharmacies to partner with pharmaceutical companies to send letters to patients about prescription refill reminders, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Privacy advocates argued that the bill by Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) would have let pharmaceutical companies use the reminder letters to promote their products.
The bill's sponsor, Adheris, is facing an invasion of privacy class-action lawsuit over some practices that Calderon's bill would have made legal (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 6/18).
If Calderon's goal was to help patients take their medications, "his bill was a consumer-unfriendly way of accomplishing it," David Lazarus writes in his "Consumer Confidential" column in the Los Angeles Times.
"One problem with Calderon's bill was its lack of transparency about who would pay for the reminder letters, and which patients would get them," Lazarus writes, adding that lawmakers and Californians said they were uncomfortable giving more information to drug makers (Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, 6/18).