CLSA Awaits Governor Newsom’s Decision on Numerous Bills

By Brett Johnson
Sept. 19, 2019

While fewer bills directly targeting the biopharmaceutical industry were introduced this year, which was likely due in large part to Governor Newsom’s executive order on state prescription purchasing, CLSA strongly supported several bills that reached the Governor’s desk and helped prevent a number of bills of concern from reaching his desk.

CLSA successfully stopped bills restricting companies’ use of rodenticides, increasing liability exposure for devices related to digital medicine, making sensitive information on researchers doing animal studies publicly searchable, and halting dissections in elementary and high school biology classes, among other things. CLSA also prevented restrictions from being placed on the expenditure authority of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine.

CLSA also worked hard to ensure a number of bills reached the Governor’s desk and will continue to push for them to be signed into law. These include:

  • SB 583 (Jackson) – Increasing insurance coverage for services related to clinical trials: This would expand existing benefits for patients participating in cancer-related clinical trials to patients participating in clinical trials for any life-threatening disease. It would also enable patients to self-refer for a clinical trial and receive these benefits, which, we believe, would make California the first in the nation to do so.
  • AB 848 (Gray) – Expanding Medi-Cal patients’ access to CGMs: This would require Medi-Cal coverage of continuous glucose monitors (“CGM”) for diabetic patients where medically necessary. CLSA has been working hard in support of this proposal for several years now.
  • SB 159 (Wiener) – Increasing access to HIV PrEP and PEP: This would improve access to single-tablet AIDS/HIV prevention regimens, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), by increasing dispensing authority for pharmacists, among other things.
  • AB 993 (Nazarian) – Increasing patients’ access to HIV specialists: This would allow HIV specialists to be eligible as primary care providers in California health plans, meaning patients would not need a referral.
  • AB 262 (Gloria) – Empowering public health officers to fight communicable disease outbreaks: This would help ensure local health officers and other local health authorities can continue to fulfill their critical roles and responsibilities as a first line of defense for California against the spread of contagious, infectious, or communicable diseases.
  • AB 715 (Nazarian) – Continuing California’s Parkinson’s disease surveillance program: This would extend the sunset on the Richard Paul Hemann Parkinson’s Disease Program, which collects data on the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in California.
  • AB 28 (Obernolte) – Raising the profile of STEM education for high school students: This would increase the attractiveness of STEM education to high school students by creating a Seal of STEM for high school diplomas that students can earn by successfully completing a sufficient number of STEM classes.

Finally, CLSA continues to advocate on AB 824 (Wood), which targets so-called “pay-for-delay” patent settlement agreements between generic and brand drug makers. While the bill has improved significantly as a result of several amendments made during the legislative process, CLSA continues to advocate that the bill will deter many agreements between brand and generic drug makers that benefit patients unless global patent settlements and acceleration clauses are not considered indicative of anti-competitiveness and the bill’s provisions do not expand current private rights of action available to third parties.

The Governor has until October 13th to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature. Any CLSA members who would like further information on any of the legislation discussed above are asked to reach out to Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Affairs ( or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (