The Sacramento Bee: Drug companies win round over pricing in California Legislature

August 17, 2016


Legislation meant to discourage sharp increases in drug prices is dead for the year after the author pulled the measure Wednesday, blaming recent amendments that “have made it more difficult for us to accomplish our fundamental goal.”

The action caps weeks of intense lobbying overSenate Bill 1010. The legislation had emerged as a major end-of-session fight pitting politically influential labor unions and health plans against the powerful pharmaceutical industry. Nearly 80 drug companies, unions, health plans and others had reported lobbying on the bill during the first half of 2016.

“I introduced SB 1010 with the intention of shedding light on the reasons precipitating skyrocketing drug prices,” state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, said in a statement. “The goal was transparency, making sure drug companies played by the same rules as everyone else in the healthcare industry.

“After consulting with a broad coalition of working families, health advocates, healthcare providers, businesses, community organizations, and many others, I have decided to delay moving this legislation forward,” Hernandez said.

Health insurance companies have to report rate information to the state. Hernandez’s legislation was intended to detail the impact of prescription drug prices on health care premiums. In addition, drug makers would have had to provide more information describing price increases.

The measure passed the full Senate in June and cleared the Assembly Health Committee earlier this month. But it ran into trouble in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it passed last Thursday only after significant amendments overseen by the panel’s chairwoman, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

Companies, unions and others who reported lobbying Companies, unions and others who reported lobbying SB 1010 through June 

Firm: 880 Pharmacy Inc.

City: Richmond

Firm: Abbvie

City: Washington

Firm: Aetna Inc.

City: West Sacramento

Firm: Aids Healthcare Foundation

City: Los Angeles

Firm: Allergan Usa, Inc.

City: Irvine

Firm: America'S Health Insurance Plans

City: Washington

Firm: Amerisourcebergen Corporation

City: Chesterbrook

Firm: Amgen

City: Washington

Firm: Association Of California State Supervisors

City: Sacramento

Firm: Astellas Pharma Us, Inc.

City: Northbrook

Firm: Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Lp

City: Wilmington

Firm: Baxalta Us Inc.

City: Chicago

Firm: Baxter Healthcare Corporation

City: Atlanta

Firm: Bayer Corporation

City: Whippany

Firm: Biocom

City: San Diego

Firm: Biogen

City: Washington

Firm: Biotechnology Innovation Organization

City: Washington

Firm: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

City: Ridgefield

Firm: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

City: Plainsboro

Firm: California Conference Board Of The Amalgamated Transit Union

City: Sacramento

Firm: California Conference Of Machinists

City: Petaluma

Firm: California Life Sciences Association

City: South San Francisco

Firm: California Optometric Association

City: Sacramento

Firm: California Public Interest Research Group, Inc.

City: Oakland

Firm: California State Retirees

City: Sacramento

Firm: California Taxpayers Association

City: Sacramento

Firm: California Teamsters Public Affairs Council

City: Sacramento

Firm: California-Hawaii State Conference Of The Naacp

City: Sacramento

Firm: Caloptima

City: Orange

Firm: Cardinal Health, Inc.

City: Dublin

Firm: Celgene Corporation

City: Summit

Firm: Central California Alliance For Health

City: Scotts Valley

Firm: Cigna Companies

City: Hartford

Firm: Cvs Health

City: Washington

Firm: Daiichi Sankyo

City: Washington

Firm: Eli Lilly And Company And Subsidiaries

City: Indianapolis

Firm: Endo

City: Malvern

Firm: Engineers And Scientists Of California

City: Oakland

Firm: Express Scripts Holding Company

City: Washington

Firm: Genentech, Inc., A Member Of The Roche Group

City: Sacramento

Firm: Generic Pharmaceutical Association

City: Washington

Firm: Glaxosmithkline

City: Sacramento

Firm: Gold Coast Health Plan

City: Camarillo

Firm: Grifols Inc.

City: Washington

Firm: Health Plan Of San Mateo

City: South San Francisco

Firm: International Longshore And Warehouse Union, Coast Longshore Division

City: San Francisco

Firm: Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. And Affiliated Entities

City: Sacramento

Firm: Laborers' International Union Of North America Local 777

City: Riverside

Firm: Laborers' International Union Of North America, Local 792

City: Redding

Firm: Lilly Usa

City: Indianapolis


Firm: Local Initiative Health Authority For Los Angeles County

City: Los Angeles

Firm: Los Angeles Area Chamber Of Commerce

City: Los Angeles

Firm: Mallinckrodt, Llc

City: Hazelwood

Firm: Mc Kesson Corporation

City: San Francisco

Firm: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. And Its Affiliates

City: Sacramento

Firm: Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.

City: Washington

Firm: Molina Healthcare Of California

City: Sacramento

Firm: Mylan Inc.

City: Washington

Firm: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

City: East Hanover

Firm: Novo Nordisk, Inc.

City: Plainsboro

Firm: Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, Local 3631

City: Santa Ana

Firm: Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

City: Rockville

Firm: Partnership Healthplan Of California

City: Fairfield

Firm: Pfizer Inc.

City: Sacramento

Firm: Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

City: Washington

Firm: Pharmaceutical Research And Manufacturers Of America

City: Sacramento

Firm: Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association

City: Annapolis

Firm: Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 21

City: San Francisco

Firm: Purdue Pharma Lp

City: Stamford

Firm: Sanofi Us Services Inc.

City: Bridgewater

Firm: State Building & Construction Trades Council Of California

City: Sacramento

Firm: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

City: Marlborough

Firm: Takeda Pharmaceuticals America

City: Deerfield

Firm: UCB Inc.

City: Smyrna

Firm: Unite/Here International Union

City: New York

Firm: United Healthcare Services, Inc.

City: Sacramento

Firm: United Nurses Associations Of California/Union Of Health Care Professionals

City: San Dimas

Firm: Utility Workers Union Of America, Local 132

City: Santa Ana

Firm: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

City: Boston

Hernandez and backers of SB 1010 said they will try again. The current legislative session ends Aug. 31.

“It is hugely disappointing that Big Pharma’s avalanche of lobbying led to a bill stripped of meaningful provisions that was ultimately useless in shining a spotlight on drug pricing,” Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation said in a statement.

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