CA needs sunshine on rising drug prices

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:19 AM

The hepatitis Celsius drug Sovaldi, priced at $84.000 for a regular course of treatment, is one of the most notable examples. But the problem extends much further.

CA needs sunshine on rising drug prices

The introduction of new and innovative drugs is vital to our health care system, but these frequently high-priced treatments arrive with challenges. The hepatitis Celsius drug Sovaldi, priced at $84.000 for a regular course of treatment, is one of the most notable examples.

But the problem extends much further. A revealed that prices for four of the nation’s ten most prescribed drugs more than doubled since two thousand eleven, adding billions in costs for consumers, employers and government health programs.

That’s why I’ve introduced , which would require drug companies to give at minimum two months’ notice to state programs such Medi-Cal and CalPERS when prices expand by more than ten % and to give thirty days’ notice for new drugs priced higher than $10.000.

The bill, which will be heard by the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, also provides consumers a greater understanding of prescription drug costs by requiring health plans to identify the specific drugs that are driving the most spending.

This trend is a costly burden on all of us, making it crucial that we realize what’s behind these exploding prices. The public and policymakers necessity greater insight that'll authorize us to identify strategies to ensure that prices don't menace our skill to access life-saving treatments.

Transparency-focused policies, love those in the Affordable Care Act, have led to rules that require CA hospitals to allow pricing information for common surgeries, health plans to submit detailed data on premium increases and doctors to report more information to the federal government. Drugmakers, however, have been able to escape this openness.

Available data propose that publicly accessible price information in other sectors of the health care market encourages contest and reduces excess health spending. SB one thousand ten would bring prescription drugs in line by shedding light, for the first time, on those drugs that are having the greatest impact on our health care dollar. This modify is absolutely required when more than nine hundred drugs have price tags at or over .000, and the release of new drugs frequently comes with record-breaking prices.

The impact of these costly new drugs on taxpayer resources is massive, with millions of Californians covered by Medi-Cal and other public programs. With the impact of rising premiums on employers, it’s common sense that we bring some transparency to these record-breaking prices.

That’s why groups including the CA Work Federation, AARP, CA Medical Association, Health Access and Consumers Union joined me in the thrust to disclose the truth about high-priced drugs. The fact that we presently compel people to purchase health care coverage creates a ethical obligation that we do everything we can to ensure that coverage is affordable. This bill won’t be a magic bullet, but understanding the factors that are driving massive increases in pharmaceutical spending is a vital step to take.

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