In what would be a victory for the pharmaceutical industry, California’s Proposition 61 appears to have been defeated, barring a surge in late votes for the measure, according to LAWeekly. The measure would have prevented state agencies from paying more for their workers’ drugs than the VA does for vets. It would have lowered drug prices for nearly 12% of residents, including those in Medi-Cal’s FFS program, some state employees, and inmates in state prisons. LAWeekly reports that the pharmaceutical industry spent nearly $110 million to defeat the measure; proponents spent nearly $19 million.
The measure appears to have been defeated with about 54% of the vote, but proponents say that while the battle might be lost, the war on high drug prices will continue.
Adams Dudley, MD, director of the Center for Healthcare Value at the University of California, San Francisco vows: “This issue is not going to go away.”
A similar ballot question is expected to be put before Ohio residents in 2017. And the fight in California is not over yet. Some in the state legislature plan to resurrect a drug pricing transparency bill that died over the summer but can gain new momentum in light of Proposition 61’s defeat.