Orange County Register Recommends ‘No’ Vote on Drug Discount Measures
Although California residents want lower-priced prescription drugs, "more government control over the drug industry ... won't achieve that" and "could make drugs even more expensive by increasing legal costs," an Orange County Register editorial states, adding that California residents should vote "no" on Propositions 78 and 79 on the Nov. 8 special election ballot (Orange County Register, 10/10).
Proposition 78 would establish a voluntary prescription drug discount plan for state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. The measure is supported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Proposition 79, a measure supported by Health Access California and a coalition of labor groups, would require drug makers to participate in a prescription drug discount program or face exclusion from the Medi-Cal formulary in some cases. To qualify, state residents' annual incomes could not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. Under Proposition 79, people could sue a pharmaceutical company if they believe it is participating in illegal pricing practices (California Healthline, 10/11).
The editorial recommends that legislators pursue modifications to a federal law that supporters of Proposition 78 say bars pharmaceutical firms from collaborating on drug discount programs.
In addition, the editorial states that Proposition 79 "would encourage drug companies to limit sales in this state or exit altogether ... or never enter in the first place."
The editorial concludes, "Vote 'No' on Prop. 78 and Double 'No' on Prop. 79" (Orange County Register, 10/10).
Additional information on Propositions 78 and 79 is available online.