Release: Drug Pricing Transparency Bill Reintroduced for 2017-18 Session

December 5, 2016

Senator Hernandez renews his commitment for Californians to have access to affordable prescription drugs

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced Senate Bill 17 to renew his efforts to shine a light on rising drug prices in California.  

“The skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs continue to be one of the biggest factors leading to rising insurance premiums in the state, impacting working Californians. This issue will not go away and the public deserves answers,” said Senator Hernandez. “I will continue fighting for accessible and affordable medications for all Californians. I look forward to working with my colleagues and stakeholders to ensure California can begin to reign in out-of-control prescription drug pricing.”

As chair of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Hernandez has championed the need for transparency in drug prices. Last session, he introduced SB 1010, but ultimately delayed moving forward with the legislation after amendments made it difficult to accomplish the ultimate goal of drug pricing transparency. 

As part of the fight against rising drug costs, Senator Hernandez introduced Senate Joint Resolution 29 during the final week of the 2015-16 session, urging Congress to take action against the company Mylan, which makes the EpiPen. In September, he convened a Senate Health Committee hearing to listen how extreme price increases have impacted patients, families, and providers.

Millions of Californians were granted access to coverage through the Affordable Care Act, but affordability remains a critical issue. While other sectors of the healthcare system have safeguards and transparency requirements in place with regards to cost drivers, the pharmaceutical industry has no such mechanisms in place, leading to often egregious and unsustainable increases in drug prices.