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CLSA Wire

California State Legislature: Year in Review
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Sept. 10, 2016

The Legislature concluded its work for this two-year cycle during the early hours of Sept. 1. CLSA’s State Government Relations (SGR) team aggressively engaged on a number of legislative and regulatory items and is proud of the accomplishments made this year on behalf of our members, as we now turn our attention to the challenges awaiting us in the next legislative session.

Highlighted below are a few key legislative items.

Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez) – Drug Pricing Transparency

  • After a long battle that began in March, the author of SB 1010 decided not to move his bill forward after amendments in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
  • While this was a significant victory for the industry, it is only a reprieve. The author and sponsors of this measure both have publicly stated an intent to reintroduce this legislation next year.

Assembly Bill 45 (Mullin) – Household Hazardous Waste (Extended Producer Responsibility)

  • A top CLSA priority is defeating continued efforts to enact “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) legislation and similar efforts at the municipality and county local levels. Such bills seek to impose the cost of mandatory take-back and other product stewardship programs solely upon our drug and medical device manufacturer members.  After additional discussions with the author and our members, the decision was made not to move forward with the bill.  However, the author maintains his goals of improving disposal methods and collection rates for household hazardous waste, pharmaceuticals, and sharps in the future.
  • During the Fall, we will be working with member companies having a presence in the Committee Chairman’s district to thoroughly educate and remind him of the need to reach a reasonable and workable statewide and state level resolution to this issue.

Assembly Bill 2115 (Wood) – Health Care Coverage:  Disclosures

  • This bill would add a statement to existing notices to consumers losing coverage that says “additional information on low or no cost programs for health care and prescription medicines” may be found at a certain State website. The bill is currently under consideration by the Governor.

Senate Joint Resolution 29 (Hernandez) – EpiPen Pricing

  • The same author of Senate Bill (SB) 1010 introduced Senate Joint Resolution 29, which urges the federal U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its denial of approval for generic alternatives to the epinephrine auto-injector EpiPen; the U.S. Congress to investigate the impact that Mylan NV’s monopoly has had on price increases for EpiPen; and, the Congress and President to take action to limit the unrestrained ability of drug manufacturers to increase prices based on what the market can bear.
  • The measure unanimously passed both the Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support. Although non-binding, this additional effort clearly demonstrates the desire of the Legislature to deal with drug pricing in the future.
  • This may also be a prime example for consideration at the anticipated hearings on drug pricing issues to take place next month (no specific date yet), being held jointly by both Assembly and Senate health committees.

Questions? Please contact Michael Bolden, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations, (MBolden@califesciences.org).