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CLSA Wire

Several Significant Bills Impacting Industry Falter in the Homestretch
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Oct. 23, 2017

In addition to Senate Bill 790 (McGuire), which was discussed in last month’s bulletin, several bills on which CLSA was active failed to become law this year. Unlike SB 790, these were bills CLSA had supported to varying degrees during the legislative process.

First, Assembly Bill 315 (Wood) initially would have required pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to report to the Board of Pharmacy, in addition to registering with the Board, on the amounts of rebates, discounts, and other price concessions passed through to health plan enrollees. As the bill moved into the Senate, however, regulatory authority was moved to the Department of Managed Health Care and reporting was only required to the PBMs’ clients upon request under confidentiality protections.

While CLSA maintained a dialogue with the bill’s author, our support remained contingent on amendments to the bill that would have consolidated industry reporting and ensured PBM information would inform the public’s understanding of drug costs. The author ultimately decided to withdraw the bill prior to it being brought to the Senate floor due to concerns about the appropriate regulatory structure for overseeing PBMs.

Second, AB 447 (Gray) would have explicitly included an FDA-approved continuous glucose monitor (CGM) as a Medi-Cal benefit if the CGM’s manufacturer had a rebate agreement with the state. The Governor unfortunately vetoed the bill, stating that the bill was unnecessary due to current Medi-Cal provisions already allowing the state to cover CGMs when deemed medically necessary. CLSA remained in strong support of the bill throughout the process.

Third, AB 1217 (Bocanegra) would have effectively established a charter school in Los Angeles County focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for grades 6 through 12. CLSA supported the bill due to our longstanding broad support of policies that would improve STEM educational opportunities in California. The bill unfortunately faced intense opposition from California’s teacher’s unions, and the author chose to withdraw the bill prior to a vote on the Senate floor.

Despite the failure of these proposals this year, they may return in one form or another next year. CLSA will continue monitoring these and other potential legislation as we head into the second year of this two-year legislative session.

Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (BJohnson@califesciences.org).