California OKs bill to flex power on prescription drugs

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers have passed a bill to use the most populous state’s market power to lower the cost and increase the availability of prescription drugs for its nearly 40 million residents.

The state Legislature on Monday approved a measure that would require the state to create partnerships designed to increase competition, lower prices and reduce shortages for generic prescription drugs.

The bill stops short of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January budget proposal for the state to create its own generic label.

Sen. Richard Pan cited shortages spurred by the coronavirus pandemic as one rationale for his bill.

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