In the News

September 7, 2017

A bill aimed at regulating drug price negotiations in California is done for the year at the state Capitol.

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood says he will return next year with his measure to create transparency around pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

PBMs are companies that negotiate prices between manufacturers and insurance plans Wood's bill would have required PBMs to make those discussions public.

September 7, 2017

Public outcry over rising prescription costs has grown substantially over recent years. Senate Bill 17, aimed at increasing pharma transparency on drug price hikes, could be voted on soon.

The bill, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), would require drug companies to notify state health programs and private insurance companies 90 days before raising a drug's price. They'd also be required to state changes that affect the drug's effectiveness.

September 4, 2017

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia and Sen. Jeff Stone – who all represent parts of the Coachella Valley in the Legislature – play a crucial role in the fight against cancer by passing laws that help reduce the toll of cancer, which will claim nearly 60,000 lives in California this year alone.

If state lawmakers take critical preventive measures now, they could keep thousands of people from hearing the words “You have cancer” in the future.

August 31, 2017

An ongoing drug pricing battle between Democratic Senator Ed Hernandez and the pharmaceutical industry comes to a head Friday in the California Legislature.

Hernandez’s new measure, SB17, aims to create greater transparency between drug manufacturers, health plans and consumers. He introduced a similar bill last year, but it was hijacked in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This week, it goes to a vote in that same committee.

August 29, 2017

In response to some health insurers leaving the individual market, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would ensure continuity of care for people with complex health conditions. The measure would require a new insurance firm to cover the providers of qualifying patients, even if the provider isn't in the insurer's network. The insurance industry says the bill would provide a blank check for out-of-network care in some instances.

August 25, 2017

Joanna Joshua, 39, panicked when she opened a letter from her family’s insurer, Cigna, only to learn it was pulling out of California’s individual market next year.

The Santa Clarita resident would have no choice but to change health plans.

August 21, 2017

As the state legislature returned to work in Sacramento Monday, lawmakers were considering a number of bills intended to restrain the rise of health care prices, including one that would require drug makers to notify the public before raising the price of certain medications.

"We have to be innovative of how we're going to control healthcare costs," says Ed Hernandez, chair of the senate health committee and sponsor of SB 17.

August 20, 2017

Less rowdy than the sputtered push for single-payer healthcare and less fraught than the battle over Obamacare’s future, the concern over the cost of prescription drug prices has been overshadowed for the past year by the marquee healthcare battles gripping Sacramento and Washington.

That’s not likely to be the case much longer. The effort to rein in pharmaceutical costs is poised for a major showdown as state lawmakers enter their final month of the legislative year.