March 26, 2018
A recent article from Politico delves into the phased implementation and early outcomes of SB 17, California's first-of-its-kind drug price transparency legislation which took effect January 1 of this year. Politico's Victoria Colliver highlights the Golden State as a trail-blazer, spurring similar state-specific legislation across the U.S. including  Massachusetts, Nebraska, and in Oregon, where their own transparency legislation was signed into law just last week. Colliver reports on increases of up to 63% already revealed through the advance notices drug companies are now required under the new law to provide to major purchasers. 
California's Drug Transparency Law Yields Early Surprises

Key Takeaways:

"California's first-in-the-nation drug pricing transparency law is beginning to kick in - and to spur copycats, with Oregon's governor last week signing a law that requires drug companies to disclose cost components they have long
considered proprietary."
"California has already pried loose new numbers that may seem deja vu: Valeant, a magnet for criticism over past price boosts, is about to raise the price of a generic glaucoma medication by 63 percent, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's biggest generic drugmaker, plans a 49 percent price bump May 1 for an inhaler solution to prevent asthma attacks..."
"Valeant in 2015 raised the price of Syprine, which treats a rare disorder, to $21,000 - more than 30 times what it had been five years earlier. Teva recently introduced a "lower-cost" generic for $18,000 for a bottle of 100 pills, 28 times the 2010 brand price. Valeant then came back with an "authorized" generic for $19,000."
"With stories like these playing out across the country, California sees another area where it can play national leader. Gov. Jerry Brown explicitly described the transparency measure - supported by a broad coalition of insurers, employers and advocates arrayed against vehement drug industry opposition - as a model for other states when he signed it in October."
"Several states, including Massachusetts and Nebraska, have similar legislation pending. More than 150 bills have been introduced nationwide to address at least some aspect of prescription drug costs, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy."
Read the full article here

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