CLSA’s Patient Notice Bill Moves On, While the Takeback Fix Effort Dies
July 15, 2016
CLSA’s sponsored bill, Assembly Bill 2115, passed out of Senate Health Committee unanimously on June 29, and now moves on to Senate Appropriations for a hearing in early August. That same day, unfortunately, CLSA’s effort to find a statewide fix on pharmaceuticals and sharps takeback programs, Assembly Bill 45, was not taken up for a vote in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and consequently died.
AB 2115 was amended in Senate Health such that it is no longer a notice solely on manufacturers’ patient assistance programs. The bill would now include only a notice that “additional information on low or no cost programs for health care and prescription medicines” may be found at a certain State website. This notice would be included in current notices issued to individuals who are losing coverage.
With the health insurers removing their formal opposition to AB 2115, we are optimistic that it will reach the Governor’s desk.
Conversely, AB 45 was intended by CLSA and its partners to provide a statewide solution on issues related to takeback programs for drugs and sharps, as such programs have the potential to proliferate at the city and county level across California. In the process of attempting to work with the Senate Environmental Quality Committee to move the bill, however, amendments to the bill were pushed by the committee that would have substantially narrowed the impact of the bill and failed to preempt many of the local takeback programs with their unique compliance requirements.
Given our concerns with the amendments necessary to move the bill, the decision was made not to take the bill up for a vote but to still present on the bill as an opportunity to discuss the critical issue of finding a statewide solution on drugs and sharps takeback.
CLSA will continue to push for a statewide fix on the issue of drugs and sharps takeback programs. At this time, the next steps on achieving such a fix are unclear, but it is unlikely anything significant would occur during the current legislative session.
Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Director, State and Local Government Policy (BJohnson@Califesciences.org).