Industry Waging Fight Against California Measure to Cap Drug Spending
Eight drugmakers have contributed more than $10 million in recent weeks, with Johnson & Johnson putting in more than half the total, to fight a proposed November 2016 ballot initiative in California that would cut state spending on prescription drugs.
The California Drug Price Relief Initiative would prohibit state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
PhRMA created a fund to oppose the initiative. The largest contributors thus far are J&J, with nearly $5.9 million, Bristol-Myers Squibb, with nearly $2.9 million, and Purdue Pharma, with roughly $1.1 million, according to a campaign finance report filed with California’s secretary of state. The other five major contributors thus far are Pfizer, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and The Medicines Company.
Proponents of the initiative must submit 365,880 signatures of registered voters by Nov. 2 of this year to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. They claim to have more than enough signatures, but will continue collecting up until the filing deadline in case any names are rejected.
The PhRMA fund will help to support a coalition being formed to defeat the measure if it gets on the ballot.
A similar initiative is proposed for the November 2016 ballot in Ohio. — Jonathon Shacat