Making Medications Affordable


A pill bottle on its side with pill capsules containing shredded paper money

California voters have a number of important decisions to make beyond who to elect for office. This year’s ballot questions include a measure that would require actors in pornographic films to wear condoms, a $2 increase on the cigarette tax, and repealing the death penalty. Another question, Proposition 61, has to do with the prices of prescription drugs. A Yes vote would regulate prices so that state agencies can pay no more than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) pays for prescription drugs. We asked two health policy experts to explain why pharmaceutical prices are such a big deal and what is at stake with Proposition 61. Alan Safer provides broader context for the costs of pharmaceuticals and ideas beyond Prop 61. This is not so much a debate as a forum for two experts to look at different sides of an important issue.  Featured image: Lisa Yarost



Alan Sager

Boston University School of Public Health

Drugs, money, and power

Warren Kaplan

“As California goes….”