A lawmaker in California has pulled a bill seeking to increase the "transparency" of prescription drug costs in the state, The Mercury News reported Wednesday.
The measure, proposed by Assemblyman David Chiu, would have required each manufacturer of a prescription drug with a wholesale cost of at least $10 000 per course of treatment to report "select information" such as R&D and marketing expenses and profits generated by the product.
Chiu pulled the proposal prior to a vote after concluding that the measure did not have sufficient support to pass.
Meanwhile, a separate bill that will be submitted for approval by voters later this year would cap prescription drug prices at the level negotiated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spokeswoman Priscilla VanderVeer argued the legislation unfairly singles out the pharmaceutical industry "when in fact, there are a variety of stakeholders involved in determining what consumers ultimately have to pay for a medicine -- insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, wholesalers and government agencies."
Public outrage over drug pricing has been fuelled by Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drugs Harvoni and Sovaldi as well as the toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim, whose price was increased by more than 5000 percent last year.