KHN Morning Briefing

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California Governor Signs One Of Strictest Drug Transparency Bills In Nation

The pharmaceutical industry has fought hard to kill the legislation, and it will likely be a legal target now that the bill is law.

The Associated Press: California To Require Advanced Notice On Hikes In Drug Costs
Drug companies doing business in California will soon have to notify the public two months in advance of dramatic price spikes under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown. California's legislation marks one of the strictest drug-price transparency laws in the country, as states move to shine a spotlight on rapidly rising costs in the hopes of enticing drugmakers to keep them down. (Ronayne, 10/9)

The Wall Street Journal: California Governor Signs Bill Requiring Greater Drug Price Transparency
The law, which drew bipartisan legislative support and Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed Monday, requires that, starting Jan. 1, 2019, companies give a 60-day notice if list prices of drugs are raised more than 16% in a two-year period. The law applies to drugs with a wholesale price of more than $40 for a 30-day supply. Health plans and insurers would also have to file annual reports outlining how drug costs affect health-care premiums in the state. (Armental, 10/9)

Los Angeles Times: Californians Will Get More Information On What’s Driving Prescription Drug Prices Under Law Signed By Governor
Supporters call the law the nation’s most sweeping effort to make prescription drug pricing more transparent. The measure would require drugmakers to provide notice to health plans and other purchasers 60 days in advance of a planned price hike if the increase exceeds certain thresholds. The measure, SB 17 by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa), will also require health plans to submit an annual report to the state that details the most frequently prescribed drugs, those that are most expensive and those that have been subject to the greatest year-to-year price increase. (Mason, 10/9)

Bloomberg: Legal Fight Looms Over California's New Drug Pricing Law 
The law -- like measures in other states -- is expected to be a legal target by the industry. Last month in Nevada, the industry’s two major lobbying groups -- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, of PhRMA, and the Biotechnology Innovation Association, or BIO -- sued the state over a law requiring drug plan administrators to reveal rebates they get on diabetes drugs. In Maryland, the Association for Accessible Medicines, the trade association for generic drugmakers, challenged a state “price gouging” law, although a judge allowed it to take effect on Oct. 1. (Hopkins, 10/9)

Sacramento Bee: Drug Price Measure Signed By Jerry Brown
California Gov. Jerry Brown moved to shed light on escalating prescription drug prices on Monday, signing heavily lobbied legislation requiring insurers to break down and provide drug costs to the state. Senate Bill 17, which drew millions in opposition spending from the powerful pharmaceutical industry, is designed to arm the state with data on the percentage of health insurance premiums and premium increases that can be attributed to prescription drug costs. (Cadelago, 10/9)

Politico Pro: California's New Drug Law Could Serve As Template For Other States
Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare bill-signing ceremony on Monday, approved drug legislation that doesn't directly affect prices but is designed to keep costs in check by requiring drug manufacturers to give purchasers advance notice when they significantly raise prices and making them justify the hike. Advocates see Senate Bill 17 not just as a rare blow to the pharmaceutical industry, but also as a pushback by the country's most populous state against inaction in Washington D.C. and against inequities fueled by special-interest groups and powerful lobbying entities. (Colliver, 10/9)

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