Everyone wants transparency…except Big Pharma
By Rachel Warino
Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez) will likely be up for a vote next week in the California State Assembly Health Committee before heading to the floor for a vote. The bill has already passed the CA State Senate, and everyone – except Big Pharma – seems to be coming out in favor of this commonsense, pro-transparency bill.
SB 1010 would require drug manufacturers to provide notice of price increases on prescription drugs. The goal is to bring desperately needed transparency to a process that currently happens behind closed doors. Pharmaceutical companies have been lobbying hard against this bill, begging the question “What’s Pharma Hiding?”
Just yesterday, the Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board gave a strong endorsement of SB 1010, encouraging CA State Assemblymembers to vote yes on SB 1010:
It’s basic stuff, really, but drug companies are kicking and screaming. At least 25 pharmaceutical makers, biotech companies and pharma trade organizations reported lobbying on SB 1010 just in the first quarter of this year.
They say that, despite the bill’s good intentions, it will hurt innovation, generate paperwork, make drugs more expensive, underestimate the impact of informal discounts and encourage “gray market” stockpiling of medication. All that, just from a heads-up on major price hikes and a list of the 25 drugs costing insurers the most money? That’s hard to believe.
SB 1010 supporters include business, labor, patients, health care providers and organizations from the AARP to the Valley Industry and Commerce Association. It doesn’t impose price caps or tamper with the market. It simply asks for some basic information.
Lawmakers in the Assembly should follow the Senate’s lead and approve it. Sunshine is the best medicine.
The LA Times Editorial Board also recently endorsed SB 1010, saying the “bill could fill one piece of that puzzle by giving the public a better understanding of which drug costs are rising, and why.”
The California Labor Federation has partnered with Health Access California, a healthcare consumer advocacy organization, to fight back against “hard to believe” arguments from Big Pharma in opposition to SB 1010. Our latest digital campaign “What’s Pharma Hiding” gives folks an opportunity to stand together and demand commonsense reform and transparency to a problem plaguing far too many Californians.
Also take a minute to spread the word with friends and family on social media!