Release: Drug Pricing Transparency Bill Approved by the Assembly Health Committee

June 28, 2016

SB 1010 Now Heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Health Committee approved passage of Senate Bill 1010, which provides transparency in drug pricing.

Authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina) and approved by a vote of 12-4, SB 1010 provides information on drug prices, a first step toward more affordable and accessible prescription drugs for Californians.

“Despite Pharma’s aggressive opposition, I am thankful members of the Assembly Health Committee saw the value in putting patients first and providing much-needed transparency in this sector of the healthcare industry,” said Senator Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee. “SB 1010 is a step toward having an open and honest conversation about the price of drugs.”

SB 1010 helps ensure that health care purchasers are notified of price increases in advance and have the information they need to effectively negotiate with drug companies for fair prices. Sponsored by the California Labor Federation and Health Access California, SB 1010 passed out of the California State Senate with bipartisan support.

“Soaring prescription drug costs are breaking the backs of hard-working families,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “It’s time to bring drug pricing out of the shadows. SB 1010 will provide much-needed transparency to give working people and employers vital information on the cost of prescription drugs. We commend the members of the Assembly Health Committee who voted to move this critical legislation forward.”

The pharmaceutical industry is the only major sector of the healthcare system exempted from basic price transparency requirements that help protect the public and contain overall healthcare costs.

“Legislators made the right choice in prioritizing patients over Big Pharma,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, a co-sponsor of SB 1010. “The Legislature needs to continue to advance this effort to provide notice and disclosure on skyrocketing prescription drug prices. California consumers simply want to know the reasons behind their increasing health care costs, especially for prescription drugs. We can’t just let the drug companies literally charge a billion dollars to treat one condition without any notice or justification.”

SB 1010 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For more information, please visit http://sd22.senate.ca.gov/sb1010