Quantcast
Connect with us

Supporters say measure cutting prescription drug costs in California will qualify for ballot

Published

on

Backers of a referendum aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs in California said Wednesday that they had gathered more than enough signatures to place their measure on the November, 2016, ballot in the most populous U.S. state.

The measure by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation would require the state to pay no more for prescription medications than does the federal Veterans Administration, which negotiates aggressively with drug companies.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If prices are lower, the burden on taxpayers is going to be lower,” said Michael Weinstein, the organization’s longtime president. “It’s also going to trickle down to the copays and costs of what people pay for pharmaceuticals.”

The Los Angeles based organization, which provides services to AIDS and HIV patients and is involved in public health advocacy, has collected nearly 550,000 signatures from California voters to place the measure on the ballot, more than the 366,000 valid signatures needed, Weinstein said in an exclusive interview with Reuters.

The group plans to file the signatures with the state on Nov. 2.

The measure is expected to generate fierce opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, which already has a war chest of about $10 million in a campaign account set up to fight it.

According to the state’s campaign finance website, donations include $5.7 million from Johnson & Johnson, and $2.8 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While this ballot measure may look simple, the changes being proposed will have adverse consequences for Californians,” said Kathy Fairbanks, spokeswoman for the campaign against the measure.

“If it goes forward we will be preparing a campaign to educate voters in California about its negative consequences.”

Weinstein said the organization had tried for years to persuade the California legislature to adopt laws that would control spiraling pharmaceutical costs in the state, to no avail.

ADVERTISEMENT

He predicted that anger over high prices for prescription drugs would lead to strong support for the measure. Prices paid by the state would be tied to those negotiated by the Veterans Administration, because the federal agency has negotiated rates for the drugs that it buys that are 20 percent to 25 percent lower than most other customers pay.

The organization is also seeking to qualify a similar measure for the ballot in Ohio. Three years ago, it successfully backed a ballot measure requiring adult film actors in Los Angeles to use condoms. The organization is currently backing a statewide version of that measure.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Richard Pullin)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

Published

on

A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

Published

on

A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

Published

on

"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image