Letters to the Editor

SB 1010, transparency, young criminals

In 2015, spending on prescription medication spiked 12 percent, to a national total of some $425 billion.
In 2015, spending on prescription medication spiked 12 percent, to a national total of some $425 billion. Bay Area News Group

Beware of simplistic solutions

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

Transparency bill’s murky purpose

SB 1010 is designed to be a drug transparency measure, but it only looks at one component of the overall health care process and attempts to point the finger at pharmaceutical companies as the lone culprit and single source of drug pricing.

Patients living with hepatitis C and other chronic illnesses rely on new research and new innovative medicines to stay alive. This bill is a slap in the face to researchers doing this critical work, prioritizing a bureaucratic process over people living with debilitating diseases.

I know first-hand the importance of access to life-saving medicines, the importance of having meaningful health insurance that covers the cost of treatment. I’m cured today after living with hepatitis C for more than 50 years. SB 1010 could be a major obstacle for patients like me, suffering from treatable, but potentially deadly diseases.

William Remak, Petaluma

Gut-and-amend is not way to legislate

Re “Proposition 54 is a special interest ploy” (Another View, Aug. 11): As the ultimate legislative insider, Steve Maviglio surely understands that end-of-session late-night amendments, followed by later-that-same-night votes, are routinely employed by special interests whose proposals couldn’t stand the scrutiny allowed by deliberative review in the sunshine.

Virtually every year, I was asked to suddenly analyze end-of-session amendments that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I would often ask the proponents why their proposals hadn’t been introduced in time to allow a normal six- to eight-month legislative review process. I don’t recall ever receiving a plausible answer. Maviglio claims to want to give more power to citizens. Last-minute amendments votes are surely not the way to do that.

Howard Posner, Sacramento

Don’t cut young criminals slack

Re “Legislation would help end criminalization of youths” (Viewpoints, Aug. 10): After reading Rosa Aqueel’s and Kim McGill’s column, it is clear to me that they, and their supporters have limited understanding of the thousands of crime victims victimized by youths.

Aqueel and McGill make no reference to crime victims. Yet they make it appear as if all the youths placed on the CalGang system are innocent. There are thousands of dangerous youths roaming our streets and victimizing innocent people.

Often they begin their criminal careers by shoplifting, vandalism, joyriding, drug use and sales, fighting, and transit fare evasion. The bottom line is that we all make choices. Not everyone who lives in poverty or goes to low-performing schools turns to gangs or crime. Youth who turn to gangs and crimes chose to do so on their own.

Jose Gonzalez, Roseville

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