Eli Lilly has increased the prices of insulin despite a California law requiring drugmakers to disclose and justify certain drug price hikes, Los Angeles Times reported.
California Senator Ed Hernandez, who authored the legislation, reacted strongly to a request by Eli Lilly asking lawmakers to help publicise a "helpline" assisting patients struggling to afford the drug.
"I should promote to my constituents a company that’s breaking the law and raising prices," Hernandez questioned, continuing "your company's egregious defiance of state law makes your promotion of a 'Diabetes Solution Center' even more disingenuous and offensive."
Under state law, drugmakers must notify insurers and some state agencies of any price hike of more than 16 percent over a two-year period on drugs with a wholesale cost of more than $40 and explain the reason for the increase.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has challenged the law as unconstitutional, with the case still pending.
PhRMA spokeswoman Priscilla VanderVeer said the legislation and similar laws in other states only 'look at one part of the supply chain — the inventors and manufacturers of the medicines — and completely leave out those in the middle, and have no provisions in them that will help patients access or afford their medicines."
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