California weighs creating public brand of generic prescription drugs

By | January 10, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state is considering creating its own generic drug label to decrease drug prices for residents.

“A trip to the doctor’s office, pharmacy or hospital shouldn’t cost a month’s pay,” the Democrat said Thursday. “The cost of healthcare is just too damn high, and California is fighting back.”

His office did not expand on the announcement Thursday, but Newsom is set to discuss his budget plan, which includes efforts to lower drug costs, in a press briefing on Friday.

The tentative plan is for the state to negotiate with generic drug-makers to create generics under the state’s own brand. Newsom’s objective is to increase competition in the generic drug market to lower prices.

“This is not a bad move,” USC health economist Geoffrey Joyce told the Los Angeles Times. “But I wouldn’t oversell it. It will make a modest dent in overall drug spending and drug pricing in California. You are benefiting a modest group of patients, but you are benefiting them in a significant way.”

[ Read more: Canada sours on its drug system just as Trump looks to import from it]