KHN Morning Briefing

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Drugmakers On Edge As California Governor Expected To Sign Bill To Curb Prices

For pharmaceutical companies, California is seen as a bellwether state that often sets the pace and tone for other legislative efforts around the country.

Stat: California Governor Will Sign Drug Pricing Bill That Infuriates Pharma Industry
In a blow to the pharmaceutical industry, California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected on Monday to sign a bill that would require drug makers to explain and justify price hikes, making this the latest state to actively address the high cost of medicines. The bill, which has been vociferously fought by the pharmaceutical industry, is set to become one of the more comprehensive state efforts to address pricing transparency. (Silverman, 10/8)

San Jose Mercury News: Gov. Brown To Sign Drug Pricing Transparency Bill
What is believed to be the nation’s most comprehensive legislation aimed at shining a light on prescription drug pricing is expected to be signed into law Monday morning by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to an advisory issued by his office Sunday. ...Senate Bill 17 aims to make drug prices for both public and private health plans more transparent in California. (Seipel, 10/8)

Sacramento Bee: California State Senator Ed Hernandez Helped Drug Companies
Hernandez is the author of heavily lobbied drug-price transparency legislation, Senate Bill 17, that’s currently sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. ... Between 2011 and this June, Hernandez, who chairs the Senate Health Committee, accepted at least $207,411 from drug-makers and their interests, including $11,200 from Pfizer. Mylan Laboratories PAC wrote him a $1,500 check in 2008, state records show. (Cadelago and Miller, 10/6)

In other news —

Washington Post/Stateline: Pressure Mounts To Lift FDA Restrictions On Off-Label Drugs
When the Food and Drug Administration gives its okay for a new drug to be sold, it specifies the diseases or conditions for which the medicine has been approved. That does not mean doctors can’t prescribe that drug for other ailments. They do. All the time. And it’s perfectly legal. But for decades drugmakers have been barred from promoting their drugs for uses that hadn’t gone through clinical trials. Worried about safety issues, the FDA has prosecuted numerous drugmakers for illegal promotion of off-label uses and extracted billions of dollars in fines and settlements. (Ollove, 10/8)

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