Ethan Explains California Proposition 61
This is number 11 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives in 2016 that I’ll cover. Proposition 61 is the “State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute.” Also known as the “Drug Price Standards Initiative.”
Who doesn’t think drug prices are too high here in the USA? With the Pharma Bro, Mylan, and so many other drug pricing scandals, many of us are conscious of the problem.
And let’s not forgot how those drug prices play into our ever soaring health care premiums and deductibles.
So, here in California Proposition 61 is an attempt to rein in drug prices for state agenices by tying prices they pay to the VA. Seems logical to find the lowest government price in the USA and make state agencies pay that same, low price.
Except it doesn’t.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a special deal with the pharmaceutical companies to ensure low drug prices for our military veterans who heeded the call of our country. This initiative might impact that contract and availability of drugs.
Worse yet, there will be an endless flurry of lawsuits over this which will drag out for many years and likely cost millions, if not tens of millions of dollars to fight.
Finally, Prop 61 only helps a couple hundred thousand to maybe a million Californians, not the 37 million who live here. Another special interest grab benefitting the few on the backs of all of us. If you really want to fix this problem, fully repeal the Prescription Drug Marketing Act signed into law in 1988 which banned the re-importation of USA made drugs from countries like Canada where they have lower, fixed prices on pharmaceuticals.
I say NO to Proposition 61.
Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com