Eli Lilly is defying California law with its insulin price hikes. A lawmaker calls its actions 'offensive' - (Los Angeles Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • 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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