Prescription Drug Costs Are Driving Up California Health Care Premiums.

Soaring drug prices take a toll on governments, employers, and families. Taxpayers support R&D at the front end and still foot the bill for expensive drugs at the pharmacy counter.

Higher drug prices increase premiums for everyone.

California leads on addressing the escalating cost of prescription drugs and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their skyrocketing prices.

California Senate Bill 17 —

The state’s landmark drug price transparency bill passed in 2017 —provides transparency into pharma’s skyrocketing drug pricing tactics and helps hold pharmaceutical manufacturers to similar reporting standards as others in the health care industry. The pharmaceutical industry spent years stalling transparency legislation in the state legislature.  There’s more to be done, but this landmark law is paving the way for more sustainable, affordable prescription drug prices.

California Assembly Bill 824 –

intended to end the harmful “pay-for-delay” practices by pharmaceutical and generic drug manufacturers and lower prescription drug prices for California consumers by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, it was signed into law in 2019.  

Pay-for-delay agreements, also known as reverse payment settlements, occur when major brand-name pharmaceutical companies pay off generic manufacturers to delay entering their lower-priced generic versions of the drug into the market for a set period of time. Pay-for-delay agreements take money from patient pockets to unfairly increase drug company profits.  Bringing more generic drugs into the marketplace to ensure competition helps all Californians have access to more affordable health care.

California Health Plans

are providing a critical service to consumers by picking up the majority of the tab for the costliest medications. 

  • Overall, health plans paid 92.4% of the cost of the 25 Most Costly Drugs, including generic, brand name, and speciality.
  • DMHC-regulated health plans paid more than $9.6 billion for prescription drugs in 2019, an increase of almost $600 million from 2018.

More About SB 17 Transparency in Drug Pricing

Giving A Heads
Up On
Price Hikes

Price Hike Alerts - Icon
Drug companies will give payers notice of major price increases for the most expensive drugs

Helping Plan

Planning for Increases - Icon
Payers can plan ahead for significant price increases on medications

Providing Data
To Inform

Informed Solutions - Icon
Lawmakers can review historical trends on drug costs to inform solutions


Public Accountability - Icon
Public will have access to basic information on what drives price hikes and drug spending

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Prescription drug manufacturers are introducing new drugs to market at outrageous prices. Learn more:

“Sil-K PAD silicone pads come in at a $5,499 price, while the over-the-counter version is priced at $44. That's a difference of 125 times, according to the report.” Another case of #RunawayPrescriptionDrugPrices from #bigpharma

Big pharma likes to pretend that rebates significantly lower the price of prescription drugs, but it only made a 1.6% dent in 2019. Learn more about big pharma’s prescription drug myths: