Sacramento Bee Letter: Beware of simplistic solutions

by Sara Radcliffe

The Sacramento Bee | August 11, 2016

Re “The bill Pharma wants to bottle up,” (Editorials, Aug. 11): The Sacramento Bee fails to consider Senate Bill 1010’s real-world impact.

Transparency that produces incomplete and inaccurate information only further obscures the real cost picture. Real transparency cannot be achieved without information from pharmacy benefit managers and without also looking at the credit side of the ledger, such as the discounts and rebates that offset four-fifths of brand medicine price increases.

Making matters worse, SB 1010’s advance notice creates conditions ripe for market manipulation. Disclosing future pricing decisions to competitors is generally prohibited as anti-competitive for good reason, as it can lead to higher prices among competitors. This notice also enables speculative buying of medicines, creating shortages and leading to growth in “gray markets” where medicine is sold to the highest bidder.

Sara Radcliffe, California Life Sciences Association President, Sacramento