Under existing law, if a prescription drug manufacturer provides adequate warning of potential dangers of a drug to the physician, then the drug company has no duty to insure that the warning reaches the doctors patient for whom the drug is prescribed.
Krekorian’s measure would declare that pharmaceutical companies not be relieved of a duty to warn consumers of the risks and side effects solely because the product was prescribed to a patient by a physician.
The measure would diminish the learned intermediary doctrine shield under which pharmaceutical companies can avoid prosecution and seeks to decrease the liability doctors and pharmacists face.
Krekorian’s wife, Tamar, is a pharmacist but says she does not stand to be affected should the bill pass.
Legislators deal with a deficit
In January, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California is mired in a $14.5 billion deficit. Legislators have since proposed $7.4 million in cuts to multiple areas, including healthcare, education and public safety.
“We now have to fix a nearly $8 billion problem,” Assemblyman Paul Krekorian said.
In proposing the new cuts, legislators largely eschewed Schwarzenegger’s proposal of cutting 10% from every state agency, as he had proposed in January. Instead, lawmakers focused on specific ways the state can trim the fat from its bloated budget.
But their task was complicated by proposing cuts to some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, such as children and seniors, Krekorian said. Some of those proposed cuts include delaying planned 10% Medi-Cal rate reductions that were scheduled to take effect July 1, providing $544 million in savings.
Other proposed cuts include temporary suspensions in the monthly advance counties were due to receive from the state general fund to the tune of $814 million and $3 million to child welfare services. Legislators also proposed cutting $475.5 million from K-12 education, $1 million from state parks and $2.4 million for disaster assistance.
The Assembly is legally bound to pass its budget by June 30.