Sep 2, 2020 - Health

California could become first state to produce generic drugs

Gavin newsom speaking to press

Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the measure. Photo: Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images

California's state legislature approved a measure this week that would allow it to become the first state to develop its own line of generic drugs, including insulin, to tackle rising pharmaceutical prices.

Why it matters: If passed, the motion would put California in direct competition with major generic and brand-name drug manufacturers.

  • Still, it could take years for the state to successfully bring products to the market.

How it works: Taxpayers would pay for the $1 million to $2 million in startup funding costs, in addition to staff costs, state fiscal analysis shows.

  • The bill specifically would require the state to make “at least one form of insulin, provided that a viable pathway for manufacturing a more affordable form of insulin exists at a price that results in savings.”
  • No other specifics of which drugs would be secured by the state were included.

What's next: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will have until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the measure.

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