High-cost drugs: California legislator pulls bill seeking cost 'transparency' - (The Mercury News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • 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.

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