Tue 25 Oct, 2005 03:56 pm
Is anyone from CA? A friend of mine has been talking to me about some of the upcoming proposition votes. Have you heard much about the RX plans? I wanted to get an unbiased opinion from other people. What are your thoughts about it?
That's prop 78, Discounts on prescription drugs initiative,
and prop 79, Prescription drugs discounts, state negotiated
Prop 78 supposedly establishes a discount prescription plan
for some low-, to moderate- income families. The Department of Health negotiates prices with participating drug manufacturers for rebates. The operative word here is "participating" pharmaceutical manufacturers - if they
want to offer discounted drugs, they would have done so
already voluntarily without prop. 78. Plus, we've had
already a failed program in California with the exact same
approach. The "Golden State Bear State Pharmacy" was
created in 2001 for the exact same purpose, which relied
on drug manufacturers to participate in lowering prices.
Since just a few pharmaceutical manufacturers agreed to
lower their prices, the program was abandoned.
Prop 79 would provide a prescription drug discount program
to all qualified low-income families. Prop 79 also requires
the voluntary participation of drug manufacturers, however,
manufacturers NOT providing a discount will be prohibited
to contract with Medi-Cal if they're not providing the Medicaid
best price to this program. Prop 79 also changes state laws
to make it a civil violation for drug manufacturers to engage
in profiteering from the sale of drugs.
Clearly from my post you'll see that I favor prop 79, however, so much publicity has been made for prop 78 (no kidding, the drug manufacturers are leading proponents),
and I fear, that most voters misunderstand the real concept
behind these two propositions.
Thanks for your feedback! It is an interesting topic. At the end of the day the most important thing is to get something implemented asap so that people can get the coverage they need.
One thing I found interesting was that a prop. similar to 78 has proven sucessful in Ohio whereas a prop. similar to 79 was passed in Maine but hasn't made it out of the courts. So, even if it sounded better it hasn't gone into effect. I wouldn't want to see the same thing happen in CA. What do you think?
Right! Your first paragraph I can agree with, Jonsey.
I started reading up on Maine and Ohio and have found
an article which in essence is saying what I said about
the pro/cons of prop 78/79, contradiction somewhat your
assumption that the program hasn't worked in Maine.
An innovative prescription drug program in Maine that gives the state the power to negotiate and enforce discounts with the drug industry has proven to be more effective than a program adopted in Ohio that relies on drug companies to provide voluntary discounts, according to a report released today by Prescription Drug Choices, a nonprofit public policy organization. The report found that Maine's program provided deeper discounts, benefited more eligible residents, and has been better implemented than the program in Ohio.
As stated before, I hope prop. 79 will pass, as pro. 78 will
get us nowhere with the drug manufacturers who might/may not volunteer for such a program. In the end, the seniors and low income families are the ones paying the price.
thanks for correcting me Calamity Jane. You are correct, the Maine RX Plus Plan has been working since 2004, but this plan is an alteration of the original Maine RX Plan that is similar to 79. The original plan was held up in court for four years before they revised it. So, this means that it could be very likely for 79 to be held up as well.