Sacramento at a Glance — March 20, 2015 — CHI’s State Legislative Committee (SLC) Reviews Legislation for 2015

CHI’s State Legislative Committee (SLC) Reviews Legislation for 2015

On March 9, CHI members met to analyze the immense number of bills introduced for this legislative year. After sifting through hundreds of bills, CHI is currently tracking 64 bills that directly impact the life sciences industry and its member companies/institutions. As we continue to watch bills undergo amendments and changes, CHI is working with several members of the legislature and staff to ensure that our members are well-represented in these discussions. Additionally, we are working on ways to best advocate for our members as we write letters, attend committee hearings, testify on behalf of CHI and engage with legislators and their staff.

Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Catharine Baker

On March 3, CHI members met with newly-elected Assemblymember Catharine Baker. After a very competitive election where she was outspent five to one, Asm. Baker is the first Republican to represent the Bay Area in years. Her district includes the East Bay cities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Walnut Creek. With a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in her district, Asm. Baker recognizes the importance of the life sciences industry to California and is looking forward to working with members of CHI.

Asm. Baker Meets with CHI Members

Baker discussed the upcoming legislative session and her policy priorities for education, job creation and transportation issues in California. She is deeply concerned with the health of the state and is working hard to create a robust economy to support a greater workforce.

Additionally, CHI members had the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion about the value of medicine, devices and diagnostics in the health care system and how our treatments enable patients to have a better quality of life while also creating savings in the health care system. As a mother of twin girls and a cancer survivor, she understands the need for innovation in the life sciences sector to seek solutions that provide dramatic improvements to public health in California and across the globe.

Our next meet and greet will be with Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez on April 6 at the CHI Sacramento Offices (1201 K Street, Suite 1840, Sacramento, CA). Please contact Christina Hwee, CHI’s state government affairs associate ( or 916-233-3497) for more information or to RSVP for this exciting event.

Upcoming CHI Events:

Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez Meet & Greet

Date/Time:    Monday, April 6, 4 pm
Location:         CHI Office, 1201 K Street

Assemblymember Jay Obernolte Meet & Greet

Date/Time:    Wednesday, April 29, 2-3 pm
Location:         CHI Office, 1201 K Street

CHI Policy Roundtable with Assemblymember Bill Quirk, Senator Bob Wieckowski & Legislative Colleagues

Date/Time:     Friday, April 24, 12:30 pm
Location         Boehringer Ingelheim (6701 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, CA)

Upcoming Fundraising Events:

Senator Pat Bates Wine Reception

Date/Time:            Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 3:00 pm
Location:               Sacramento

Senator Bob Wieckowski Dinner

Date/Time:            Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 5:30 pm
Location:               Blackbird Restaurant, Sacramento

Assemblymember Rob Bonta Day in the Wine Valley

Date/Time:            Thursday, May 28, 2015, 2:00 pm
Location:               Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga Frank Family Vineyards, Calistoga, Angele Restaurant, Napa

Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez Evening in LA

Date:                    Thursday, June 25, 2015
Location:               Los Angeles, CA

In the News

16.4M U.S. Residents Gain Coverage Since Passage of ACA, HHS Says

According to a Health and Human Services (HHS) report released on March 16, 16.4 million U.S. residents have received coverage since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. According to Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the ACA allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26 and tax credits are provided to millions of Americans in all 50 states, making healthcare coverage more affordable and accessible. As a result, the number of those uninsured has declined from 20.3 percent to 13.2 percent. Learn more and read the full article at California Healthline.

Covered California Takes Steps to Improve 2016 Rx Drug Coverage

Covered California’s exchange board met last week to vote on plans for prescription drug coverage while considering accessibility and affordability. The exchange board has proposed several ideas that increase transparency and access for its 2016 plans. It has requested insurers to submit reports that detail the effect of specialty drug price caps and will make recommendations at the May board meeting. Learn more about the Exchange Board Meeting here.

California Rule has Curbed Psychiatric Rx Use for Low-Income Children

After the San Jose Mercury News investigation found that children in the foster care system under Medi-Cal were prescribed psychiatric drugs at a higher rate than children nationwide, the California Department of Health Care Services established a rule that went into effect in October 2014. According to the rule, CA pharmacists must show the “medical necessity” for antipsychotic drugs prescribed to Medi-Cal patients under the age of 17. Learn more and read the full article at California Healthline.

FDA Approves First Biosimilar Medication to be Sold in U.S.

The FDA approved Zarxio, Novartis AG’s version of Amgen’s biologic drug, making it the first biosimilar medication approved by the agency. This approval could pave the way for more biosimilar drugs, which would increase competition and lower costs in the country’s prescription drug market. Learn more and read the full article at California Healthline.