CLSA Wire

Life Sciences Sector Faces Tough Road Ahead on Remaining Legislation in Sacramento

August 9, 2016

On August 1, the California State Legislature returned from Summer Recess to wrap up work on all remaining legislation by Sept. 1.

Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez)

Amendments discussed at the June 28 Assembly Health Committee hearing were formally adopted on Aug. 2. The amendments to SB 1010, however, did not address CLSA’s core concerns with the bill.

The bill’s advance notice period was shortened from 60 days to 30 days. CLSA and our partner trade associations have continued to assert that any advance notice will wreak havoc on the life sciences sector and threatens significant potential harm to patients.

Requirements on insurers to report their use of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) were also added, but these fell far short of the meaningful reporting requirements CLSA and others have previously requested. PBMs would still receive all information reported under the bill without being required to provide any information of their own.

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SB 1010 is now scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Aug. 10 – with the potential for further amendments to bill. To this end, CLSA continued its advocacy efforts over the legislature’s July recess by meeting with members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee in their district offices. Meetings have continued since the legislature’s return – with the objective of seizing every opportunity to discuss the sector’s concerns with the bill.

CLSA has also resumed our aggressive online social media campaign to ensure legislators and their staff are aware of, and understand the life sciences sectors’ concerns. Additionally, CLSA has launched a dedicated SB 1010 website: www.protectaccessandinnvocation.org. The site provides information as to what the bill would do, why the life sciences sector is opposed, and what our members’ and their employees can do to help with their respective legislative representatives on this issue. We encourage you to visit this site and contact your legislator to urge them to oppose SB1010. Your voice matters!

AB 2115 (Wood)

AB 2115 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Aug. 8. Due to amendments made by the Senate Health Committee, the bill has unfortunately been scored as having significant costs to the state. We are unclear on its fate in Senate Appropriations but remain hopeful it will reach the Governor’s desk.

The 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.

Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Director, State & Local Government Policy (bjohnson@califesciences.org).