SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California could become the first state with its own prescription drug label under a proposal Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled Thursday.
Newsom wants California, home to nearly 40 million people, to contract with generic drug companies to make prescription medications on its behalf so it could then sell them to the public. The goal, according to the governor’s office, is to lower prices by increasing competition in the generic market.
“The cost of health care is just too damn high, and California is fighting back,” Newsom, a Democrat, said in a statement.
An example could be insulin for diabetes patients. The drug has been on the market for decades and has steadily increased in price. Three drug companies control most of the market for insulin.
“Consumers would directly benefit if California contracted on its own to manufacture much-needed generic medications like insulin — a drug that has been around for a century yet the price has gone up over tenfold in the last few decades,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California.
State lawmakers must approve the plan before it can take effect. The idea is part of Newsom’s forthcoming budget proposal, which he must present to the state Legislature by Friday. The governor’s office did not say how much the proposal would cost. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says the state could have as much as a $7 billion surplus this year.