Price fight for California drug makers as biotech's big convention rolls in to San Francisco - (San Francisco Business Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Saying a price transparency bill in the California state legislature will shift money from research to paperwork, the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) trade group is launching a digital campaign emphasizing patients and caregivers, reported the San Francisco Business Times.

  • The initiative is the latest in the rhetorical "back-and-forth" between lawmakers and the biopharmaceutical industry in the lead-up to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization's annual convention this week, according to the news source.

  • The proposed Senate Bill 1010 would require biopharmaceutical companies to report to state government purchasers when a drug's price increases more than 10 percent or when a new medicine will cost more than $10 000 a year. It would also require insurance companies to report information about drug price increases.

  • The California Senate last week approved the bill on a 24-8 vote, moving it forward to the state assembly, with the news source adding that it could be signed into law in late August.

  • While the drug industry argues that the bill would bring more paperwork than transparency, Senator Ed Hernandez said it would bring clarity around the role drug prices play in the overall cost of healthcare.

  • Meanwhile, CLSA chief executive Sara Radcliffe said the bill is well intentioned, but it will ultimately fail to help patients, while also removing drug companies' flexibility to negotiate discounts with insurance companies and other partners.

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