Bay Area Counties Join Newsom's Quest To Lower Medication Costs

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the California State Capitol on March 13, 2019 in Sacramento, California.
Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- During his "California For All" Healthcare Tour stop at Laguna Honda Hospital, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that three Bay Area counties had joined his initiative to bring down drug costs.

Alameda, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties will be part of a single-purchaser system, launched by Newsom when he took office, that will sit together at the bargaining table to negotiate reduced drug prices from pharmaceutical companies. 

Los Angeles was the first county to sign on to the project, and Newsom has said individuals and potentially private employers could band together too. 

"This is remarkable. The momentum is real and this is exciting, " said Newsom on Thursday. "This is leveraging our resources, as big buyers mean lower costs."

The system is just one of Newsom's initiatives which aims to bring California closer toward the goal of health care for all. 

Newsom said he doesn't begrudge big pharmacy companies' success, but he doesn't like "gouging, or bonuses at the expense of those struggling." 

Other states have shown interest in the initiative and Newsom invites the private sector to join the purchasing pool as well.