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Pauline Bartolone's Blog

California's Prop 61 faces strong opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, which has poured... more »
posted 11/07/16
California says the expense of new hep C drugs has nothing to do with who is prescribed them. But... more »
posted 12/04/15
When I left for a week of reporting in rural California in late February, I didn't know I would... more »
posted 04/27/12

Pauline Bartolone's Work

The secretive world of pharmaceutical pricing is mired in opacity. To investigate how pricey drugs are impacting California’s budget, reporter Pauline Bartolone found she had to be creative, flexible and persistent in her data sleuthing.

What looks like a straightforward framework to protect California’s budget from escalating drug costs has policy experts perplexed, and potential allies on the sidelines.

Despite recent cost-cutting measures, California’s spending on pharmaceuticals has gone up, and so has the number of pricey drugs it is covering. It’s not clear state agencies have the means to balance drug cost pressures with the best interests of patients, taxpayers and public health.