Yesterday, the California State Senate voted to approve Senator Ed Hernandez’s legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies to give advance notice of any substantial hike in the costs of the drugs they sell. Senate Bill 17 now heads to the Governor for his signature or veto.
This is unquestionably one of the most important pending healthcare reforms for patients—especially those with chronic illnesses—and it is certainly one of the most consequential consumer protection bills approved in recent memory.
This bill will make it virtually impossible for patients to be hurt by another Martin Shkreli—the monstrous former pharmaceutical company CEO who raised the price of a lifesaving medication from $56 to $750 per pill with zero warning to patients and healthcare providers. The giant pharmaceutical companies have fought this bill tooth and nail every step of the way.
At our recent Executive Board Meeting, the California Democratic Party voted to endorse this life-saving legislation. We need to make our voices heard. I am sending the letter below to Governor Brown formally asking for his signature on this legislation. I ask you to add your name as well.
As a Registered Nurse, I know how vital it is that SB 17 gets signed into law. No one should ever wake up to the news that the medication they depend on to stay alive has become exponentially more expensive overnight. Please stand in solidarity with patients by adding your name to the CDP letter asking Governor Brown to sign this vital consumer protection into law.
The Hon. Edmund G. Brown,
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, Sacramento CA
Dear Governor Brown,
We, the undersigned members of the California Democratic Party, respectfully request your signature on the vital consumer and patient protection legislation, Senate Bill 17 by Sen. Ed Hernandez. This legislation was endorsed as an urgent priority of the California Democratic Party at our recent Executive Board Meeting.
Grassroots Democrats are united in our belief that prescription drug prices are too high. We are also deeply concerned by the fact that pharmaceuticals are uniquely susceptible to predatory price manipulation, a practice made infamous by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price of the EpiPen used by people with life-threatening allergies by 500%, and by Martin Shkreli—the monstrous former pharmaceutical company CEO who raised the price of a lifesaving medication from $56 to $750 per pill with zero warning to patients and healthcare providers.
Price spiking in pharmaceuticals is the basest kind of extortion imaginable. Prescription drugs are already a burdensome expense for many people; gouging the prices of lifesaving drugs will undeniably bankrupt some people and kill others. SB 17 will require pharmaceutical companies to give advance notice of price hikes—which gives consumer groups, patient advocates and government regulators time to mobilize and organize against unjust and predatory price manipulation.
Patients—especially those with chronic conditions—need medication whose price is stable, predictable and affordable. And consumers deserve to have strong protections in law against unscrupulous, predatory business practices. To reiterate, this legislation is an urgent priority for the California Democratic Party.
For these reasons, we respectfully request you sign SB 17 into law.
Eric C. Bauman, R.N., Chair
California Democratic Party