Sacramento Bee Examines Advertisement Addressing Prescription Drug Ballot Measures
The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday published an analysis of a television advertisement paid for by pharmaceutical companies recommending that state residents vote in favor of Proposition 78 and against Proposition 79 on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 8/23).
Proposition 78 would establish a voluntary prescription drug discount program 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 would establish a mandatory prescription drug discount program for state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. Pharmaceutical companies would have to participate in the program or face exclusion from the Medi-Cal formulary in some cases.
Under Proposition 79, people could sue a pharmaceutical company if they believe it is participating in illegal pricing practices. Health Access California and a coalition of labor groups support the measure (California Healthline, 8/16).
According to the Bee, the ad's "vague claim that Proposition 79 could 'limit patient access' to drugs fails to explain who would be affected." In addition, although "the drug companies claim Proposition 79 would create 'a costly new bureaucracy,' Proposition 78 would also create a government program," the Bee reports.
The Bee analysis includes a transcript of the ad (Sacramento Bee, 8/23).