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California NAACP and Seniors Join Patient Advocacy Groups To Raise Concerns About SB 1010
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For Immediate Release
June 21, 2016
Media Contact
Will Zasadny, Associate Director, Communications
Tel: 619-961-8848
Email: Wzasadny@CALifeSciences.org

SACRAMENTO – California NAACP joins the California Chronic Care Coalition, California Senior Advocates League, Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, TechNet, California Hepatitis C Task Force and others to voice concerns regarding SB 1010, a bill by State Sen. Ed Hernandez, which prioritizes paperwork, red tape and bureaucracy over research, and instead of improving patient access and affordability, places patients in California at risk. SB 1010 is scheduled to be heard in the California Assembly Health Committee today.

“For those who do have decent access to good health care, SB 1010 may inadvertently threaten patient’s access to medications,” said Alice Huffman, President of the CA NAACP. “These shortages can lead to disruptions in patient access to medications which could threaten the health of California citizens living with chronic conditions.”

“We need to prioritize medical innovation and make sure we continue to enact public policies that make ground-breaking medical advances possible,” said Ron Bartek, President of Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), whose son died of the rare disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA). “SB 1010 could disrupt patients suffering debilitating or deadly diseases from receiving life-saving medicines, all while burdening our healthcare system by prioritizing paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy over research and development.”

“SB 1010 puts patient access to medicine at risk, promoting the hoarding of needed medicines by large purchasers and encouraging the growth of a medication ‘gray market’ where secondary distributors sell to the highest bidder,” said Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). “This will increasingly lead to shortages and disruptions in treatments for patients in dire need of essential medicines, and any pharmacies, hospitals and patients who must go to a secondary distributor for a scarce medicine will no doubt see huge price mark-ups.”

“Unfortunately, SB 1010 threatens the vision we have for our health care system,” said Liz Helms, President & CEO, California Chronic Care Coalition. “For those living with chronic illness, access to medications and continuity of care is essential for quality of life. We are concerned this bill does not take into account the value medication plays in the lives of the millions of Californians living with a chronic condition.”

“We believe that access to healthcare and medications are essential for both aging seniors and future generations,” said John Kehoe, Board Member of the California Senior Advocates League. “SB 1010 creates a new level of bureaucracy that could clog the system, compromising a patient’s ability to access their prescriptions. Furthermore, advanced notice on price increases could lead to stockpiling and shortages.”

“The supposed purpose of the bill is to provide transparency in prescription drug pricing that will ultimately lead to lower costs and more access,” said Thomas Schatz from Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. “Unfortunately, the exact opposite will happen; costs could likely increase, which would harm patients.”

“I know first-hand the importance of patient access to life-saving medicines, and the importance of having meaningful health insurance that covers the cost of that treatment,” said William Remak, California Hepatitis C Task Force. “SB 1010 could be an obstacle for patients suffering from treatable, but potentially deadly diseases and put patient access to medicine at risk. We need comprehensive reforms that address all the key pressure points in our healthcare system that create bad outcomes for patients.”

Click here for letters of concern and additional information on the pitfalls of SB 1010.

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About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the leading voice driving innovation for California’s life sciences sector. CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and other stakeholders to shape public policy, drive business solutions and grow California’s life sciences innovation ecosystem. CLSA serves over 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged to create the state’s most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. Visit CLSA at www.califesciences.org, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Will Zasadny
619-961-8848
Wzasadny@califesciences.org