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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

Measure to Control Rx Drug Prices Qualifies for 2016 California Ballot

The California Secretary of State’s office announced that a proposal designed to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the state has qualified for the 2016 ballot.

The California Drug Price Relief Act would impose price controls on prescription drug purchases funded—directly and indirectly—by the state. The proposal would mandate that California pay the same as or less than the rates paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs for prescription drug purchases. Proponents say that would mean big reductions in what the state spends to buy drugs for its prison system and other programs.

“This is the most comprehensive drug price reduction initiative that has gone before voters in more than a decade,” Mike Roth, a spokesman for Californians for Lower Drug Prices, said in a statement. “At a time when Pharma greed is in the headlines daily, voters know Pharma isn’t looking out for their pocketbooks.”

The measure’s sponsor, the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, can pull the initiative off the ballot through June 30, 2016. That creates the possibility of a deal in the Legislature that prevents a ballot fight.

Source: California Healthline, December 21, 2015

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