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Gov. Newsom proposes California generic drug label, more homeless funding

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 17:05:32-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Governor Gavin Newsom's new proposal would make California the first state to establish its own generic drug label in hopes of lowering the cost of medications, CalMatters reports.

The proposal is part of the state budget expected to be sent to the legislature on Friday.

Newsom released a summary of the proposal Thursday, although the exact cost of the plan is unclear.

“It’s time to take the power out of the hands of greedy pharmaceutical companies,” the Governor said in Tweet Thursday.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, roughly six in 1 Americans report taking at lease on prescription medication.

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Meanwhile, 79 percent of Americans say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable.

While those in favor of the idea are supportive, some are skeptical. “If California enters the market itself, it will face the same market dynamics that have led to generic prescription drug price deflation in the past three years, as well as certain cases of patent abuse that have led to longer monopolies by select brand-name drugs,” the Association of Accessible Medicines said in a statement sent to 10News.

Read the full statement below:

California’s own data demonstrate that generics are the solution to high health care costs for patients. If California enters the market itself, it will face the same market dynamics that have led to generic prescription drug price deflation in the past three years, as well as certain cases of patent abuse that have led to longer monopolies by select brand-name drugs. Unfortunately, the Governor recently signed into law AB 824, which will make it more difficult to challenge brand-name drug patents that keep prices higher longer for California patients. We are happy to work with Governor Newsom and his staff to help address the challenges of bringing to Californians more affordable generic and biosimilar medicines.

Another notable proposal in the budget is using more than $1 billion to fight homelessness, including $750 million for a new housing fund.

The “California Access to Housing and Services Fund” would pay rent for people facing homelessness, support regions in an effort to build more housing and help stabilize board and care facilities.

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“The State of California is treating homelessness as a real emergency – because it is one. Californians are demanding that all levels of government – federal, state and local – do more to get people off the streets and into services – whether that’s housing, mental health services, substance abuse treatment or all of the above,” Newsom said.

The proposal hopes to identify state-owned land that could be used to house the homeless.