Drug pricing and transparency initiatives

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California Proposition 61, Drug Price Standards (2016) restricts “the amount that any state agency could pay for drugs, tying it to the price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs”; the proprietary drug industry has already spent almost $70m to defeat the initiative.

Newspaper column: Drug companies spend millions to keep charging high prices and discussion. Column excerpt:

The Drug Price Relief Act would make prescription drugs more affordable for people in Medi-Cal and other state programs by requiring that California pay no more than what’s paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It would, in other words, protect state taxpayers from being ripped off.

Industry donations to crush the Drug Price Relief Act “will top $100 million by the election, I’m quite certain of it,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and a leading backer of the state measure, also known as Proposition 61. “They see this as the apocalypse for their business model.”

The drug industry already has succeeded in eviscerating Senate Bill 1010, legislation in Sacramento that would have required pharmaceutical companies to detail the costs of producing medicine and explain any price increases. The bill’s author, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), pulled it from consideration last week after industry lobbyists succeeded in watering it down with business-friendly provisions.

Apocalypse now! (And for the drug industry’s co-captain.)

Unfortunately somewhat more coordinated buying (that’s essentially what the measure would cause; note symmetry in copyright of the ongoing failure of libraries to use their purchasing power) would be far from apocalypse for the proprietary drug industry, but anything that decreases its profitability and thus incentive and capacity to lobby is good.

Even better would be better (inclusive of freedom/equality/security-respecting) coordination for improving drug discovery, development, and delivery independent of property, but I understand that initiatives must be limited in scope.

A similar voter initiative may be on the ballot in Ohio next year though its signatures are being challenged.

PSA: How to Vote in Every State

End the drug war to downsize proprietary drug interests
Marijuana patents, property, ideology, incentives, and commons reaction

Pharma industry spent $109m to defeat the proposition 46-54.