California's Drug Wars

The industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has launched "its most aggressive counterattack," on a proposed California ballot initiative to provide cheaper prescription drugs to low-income residents. The industry has raised "an unprecedented $8.6 million," even though the initiative does not yet have "enough signatures to qualify it for the next election." PhRMA's Jan Faiks called the initiative "a very bad precedent" that poses "a serious threat to the health and welfare of the pharmaceutical industry." PhRMA is also "threatening retaliatory initiatives aimed at trial lawyers and unions," groups the industry fears will support the initiative. One measure "would slash trial lawyers' contingency fees," while another "would require public employee unions to obtain members' permission before spending their dues on political activities."