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Drug Pricing Law Made Permanent in California

October 13, 2023

Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 948 which makes permanent current law that prohibits the copayment, coinsurance, or any other type of cost-sharing for a covered outpatient prescription drug from exceeding $250 for a 30-day supply. MS Activist Marguerite Casillas testified before the Assembly and Senate Health Committees and met with committee members prior to the vote. She shared the following in her testimony, “before the copay cap, many people were forced to pay their entire annual out-of-pocket maximum in the first month of each year, which is thousands of dollars before insurance would cover any of the cost. This is a significant cost for most people, and out of reach for many.”

With the median annual cost of Multiple Sclerosis medications at $94,000, people living with multiple sclerosis often face significant challenges in paying for their prescription drugs. An estimated 40% of these individuals report having altered their treatment plans, either skipping or delaying treatment, due to cost which ultimately can result in disease progression. With AB 948 becoming law, it will bring peace of mind to these individuals by continuing to reduce medication cost barriers and ending discriminatory benefit design practices that specifically affect people who have a chronic disease,” said Stewart Ferry, National MS Society Director of Advocacy & Activist Engagement.

The $250 cost-sharing cap for a 30-day supply of prescription drugs was first signed into law with AB 339 (Gordon, Chapter 619 of 2015), and renewed in subsequent legislation, but was set to expire this year. Thank you, MS Activists, for helping make AB 948 a reality. To learn more about our work to make MS medications accessible visit www.nationalmssociety.org/accessmeds 

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Pictured: Stewart Ferry, Assemblyman Berman, Katelin Van Deynze (Policy & Legislative Advocate, Health Access California), and National MS Society District Activist Leader Marguerite Casillas.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.

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© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.