California voters will weigh in on drug-cost ballot measure
Drugmakers are readying for war against a proposed prescription drug cost-control measure on the California ballot in the 2016 election.
Drug companies warn it will spur other state efforts. Supporters of the proposed California Drug Price Relief Act have reportedly already collected and submitted the more than 365,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the state ballot for 2016.
The measure, if passed, would require drugmakers to provide the same discounts to the state as the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department receives. The savings would benefit state agen- cies and programs, such as prisons and Medicaid.
Drugmakers have mobilized, raising $23 million since Nov. 3 to fight the ballot measure, according to state records.
The fate of the California measure could have large implications for the rest of country. Advocates heading up the California effort are at work in Ohio, where signatures are being collected to get a similar proposed measure, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, on the 2016 ballot in that state.
It is unclear what kind of impact either measure would have on lowering drug costs.
Some fear drug companies would simply shift costs to nongovernment payers, such as private insurers, which could cause premiums to rise.