California Patients Urge Legislature to Lower Drug Prices

SACRAMENTO — A first-in-the-nation California bill would stop Big Pharma from cutting deals that block less-expensive generic drugs for state residents — a tactic that limits patient choice and costs taxpayers billions each year. Californians have written hundreds of letters in support of Assembly Bill 824, which is being heard in the judiciary committee this week. The bill also received an endorsement today from Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, a Washington, DC-based patient advocacy organization that takes no money from the pharmaceutical industry or any other player in health care. The organization launched a 5-figure campaign to advance the bill. 
 
“Big Pharma is reaching into the pockets of hard-working Californians through dirty tactics like pay-for-delay deals that block cheaper generic drugs,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “We’ve heard from more than 1,000 Californians who report struggling to afford skyrocketing prescription drugs. All the while, Big Pharma's profit margins are soaring while players collude to cut monopolistic deals. AB 824 could put an end to this egregious scheme that’s gone unchecked for far too long.”
 
AB 824 would:

  • Target a practice called “pay-for-delay,” in which brand drug corporations pay generic drug makers to delay the marketing and release of cheaper generic prescription drugs.

  • Make “pay-for-delay” deals illegal and provide the California Department of Justice a path to more easily investigate them.

  • Place the burden of proof on drug companies to prove to the California Attorney General’s Office that deals aren’t anticompetitive.

Patients For Affordable Drugs Now's 5-figure campaign includes digital ads to give Californians tools to contact their representatives in support of the legislation through letter writing and phone calls.