Ortiz Introduces Legislation Addressing Prescription Drug Costs
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) has introduced legislation (SB 19) to create California RX, a state pharmaceutical assistance program intended to "pressure drug makers to lower prices," the Sacramento Bee reports. Under the bill, state officials could limit Medi-Cal coverage for treatments manufactured by firms that charge California more than they charge the federal government and create a preferred prescription drug list for Medi-Cal to encourage more competitive pricing, according to the Bee.
The bill would provide state assistance for prescription drug purchases totaling more than 5% of total income and for medical bills exceeding 15% of total income for individuals whose annual income does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level.
In addition, the bill would direct the Department of Consumer Affairs to create a Web site providing information about "reliable" sources of lower-cost prescription drugs, including information about ordering medications from Canada, the Bee reports (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 12/8).
In related news, Sen. Carol Migden (D-San Francisco) on Monday introduced a bill (SB 23) that would require employers to provide enrollment forms for employees' children who are eligible for coverage under Healthy Families (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 12/7).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.