AB 2877 by Assembly member Dario Frommer (D-Glendale) was amended to eliminate a provision that would have required the Department of Health Services to create the California Rx Prescription Drug Hotline to provide information to consumers and health care providers on obtaining affordable medications. The bill would require DHS to develop a Web site that includes information on obtaining affordable prescription drugs, as well as information and electronic links to pharmacies in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The legislation would require the Web site to be established by July 1, 2007 (Bill text, 5/26). The bill was approved by the Assembly, 47-31, and moves to the Senate (StateNet, Subscription required).
SB 1702 by Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) passed the Senate by a 24-14 vote and will move to the Assembly (StateNet, Subscription required). The bill would require the Legislature to appropriate money in a fund created by the legislation for a prescription drug discount program. The bill would create the discount program in California and establish rules of eligibility. Under the bill, any pharmaceutical firm or licensed pharmacy could participate in the program. The legislation also would require the Department of Health Services to negotiate drug discounts and rebates with manufacturers (Bill text, 5/18).