Propositions 61 - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Propositions 61

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Propositions 61 Propositions 61

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Prescription drug prices have been skyrocketing well beyond the ability of most people who need them, but can't afford them. 

Prop-61 would require the state to pay no higher price for drugs than what the Veterans Affairs (V.A.) pays, but will this initiative actually do that?

The state legislature tried to address the drug pricing problem during this year's legislative session, but failed, prompting the creation of Prop 61.

Drug makers are required to offer a steeper discount on brand name drugs than generics.

The manufacturer of the allergy drug EpiPen — Mylan Pharmaceutical — mis-classified EpiPen as a generic to take advantage of the lower discount, in essence over billing the government and forcing the taxpayers to make up the difference.

The drug companies are required to give the V.A. a 24 percent discount on drugs. The V.A. can negotiate a higher discount for its 9 million members.

Prop-61 would require the state to pay no more than what the V.A. pays.

Because we don't know what discounts the V.A. actually gets because negotiations are sealed.

The "Yes on 61" campaign said it's time to stand up to the outrageous greed of the drug companies.

The courts could grant the state leeway when Prop-61, if passed, is implemented, allowing the state to get the lowest "known" price by the V.A..

Were that to happen, the measure doesn't force the drug companies to agree. They could simply refuse to offer the drug, or even increase the rate.

California spent $4.2 billion on prescription drugs last year for roughly 12 percent of the population.

Prop-61 does not apply to 10 million low-income patients, another 20 million people with private insurance and Medicare and 1.3 million in Covered California.

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