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Opinion

Healthcare expenses are a problem, but drug costs aren’t the reason why

Prescription drugs
Prescription drugs are displayed in June 2011.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

To the editor: This editorial misses several points. (“Why are drug prices soaring? Policymakers aren’t sure. It’s time they find out,” editorial, June 1)

In the name of easing healthcare costs, Sacramento lawmakers are considering a measure — SB 1010 — that does nothing to help patients but will instead introduce red tape and lead to gray-market prescription drug stockpiling and price gouging, putting patients and their wallets more at risk.

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SB 1010 promotes work for lawyers and accountants instead of researchers working on tomorrow’s medicines. Its “advance notice” provisions will facilitate shady secondary distributors who will make a killing, figuratively and literally: Gray-market vendors have been known to sell counterfeit or diluted medicines, placing lives at risk. It does nothing to protect patient affordability from discriminatory insurance company practices like adverse tiering and excessive out-of-pocket copays and coinsurance costs.

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While healthcare expenses are a concern for many Californians, drug costs aren’t the problem, and SB 1010 is the wrong prescription.

Sara Radcliffe, San Francisco

The writer is president and chief executive of the California Life Sciences Assn., a biomedical and pharmaceutical trade group.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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