Sick of Being Bombarded? - California Drug Price Relief

“SICK OF BEING BOMBARDED BY DRUG COMPANY ADS THAT LIE TO YOU?’ in response to the fatigue voters have expressed as tens of millions of pharmaceutical dollars have inundated the airwaves and TV screens. The narrator goes on, “In reality, Prop 61 is California’s only defense against sky-rocketing drug prices. Don’t listen to their propaganda and lies, vote yes on Prop 61.” The full ad, which is airing on social media and will debut on statewide TV on tomorrow night’s Dodgers’ playoff game, can be seen HERE or

Voters seem to be taking the ads in stride. At the end of September, after spending nearly $30 million in ads, the Field Poll showed the no on 61 campaign had only managed to convince 16 percent of voters to vote No on Prop 61.

“There’s no doubt $100 million in lies will have some impact,” said Garry South, lead strategist for Yes on Proposition 61. “But California voters seem to be seeing through the Big Pharma con. This ad reminds them to take Big Pharma’s aerial bombardment of lies with a huge grain of salt. Big Pharma is like Donald Trump, trying to deflect attention from their own amoral and unethical behavior by attacking the groups that are supporting 61.”

Prop. 61 has been endorsed by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, AARP California, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his organization, Our Revolution, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, civil rights and labor activist Dolores Huerta, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Urban League, Consumer Watchdog, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Campaign for a Healthy California, Progressive Democrats of America, Social Security Works, VoteVets Action Fund, California Alliance of Retired Americans, California Council of Churches’ Church IMPACT, and many others. See the full list of endorsements at

Proposition 61, on the November 8 ballot, would require the state of California to negotiate with drug companies for drug prices that are no more than is paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The DVA negotiates for drug prices on behalf of the millions of veterans it serves, and pays on average 20-24 percent less for medications than other government agencies, and up to 40 percent less than Medicare Part D. In response to the ballot measure, opponents of Prop. 61, primarily made up of the drug industry itself, have misleadingly argued that implementation of the measure could result in higher drug prices for the DVA. Drug discounts for DVA are actually guaranteed under federal law.