Drugmakers Donate $10M To Fight Rx Purchase Price Ballot Proposal
Drugmakers have donated more than $10 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would impose price controls on drug purchases funded -- directly and indirectly -- by the state, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Details of Initiative
The California Drug Price Relief Act is supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.
According to "Capitol Alert," the proposal would mandate that the state pay the same or less for drug purchases than the rates paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs. California currently pays billions of dollars for drugs -- both directly, such as for prison health care, and indirectly, such as for Medi-Cal and CalPERS managed care plans. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
According to "Capitol Alert," the content of the initiative is very complex, and the Legislative Analyst's Office in its initial review said it needed more time to consider its potential effects.
Supporters have until Nov. 2 to submit 365,880 signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot.
Through June, proponents have reported spending $412,000 on signature gatherers and other expenses. Meanwhile, they have raised more than $1.25 million to support the measure, "Capitol Alert" reports.
Opponents Outraise Supporters
Meanwhile, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America last week reported donations of more than $10 million from drugmakers to fight the initiative. Contributors include:
- Johnson & Johnson, which has donated $5.8 million;
- Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has donated $2.9 million; and
- Purdue Pharma, which has donated $1.1 million.
PhRMA spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks said, "While this ballot measure may look simple, the changes being proposed will have adverse consequences for Californians," adding, "If it goes forward, we will be preparing a campaign to educate voters in California about its negative consequences" (Miller, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 10/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.