weather icon Drizzle

Asthma drug-pricing bill advances to Nevada Assembly

Updated April 19, 2019 - 10:40 am

CARSON CITY — A bill that would add asthma medication to Nevada’s prescription drug transparency law was approved Thursday by the state Senate.

With a 19-2 vote in the upper chamber, Senate Bill 262 heads to the Assembly, where it will go through the hearing process once again. The bill sponsored by Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, would require drug companies to disclose information annually about how they price asthma medications, including manufacturing costs and investments in research.

“The intent of this bill is to shed transparency on why those costs increase and help inform public policy so that we can better make decisions to lower the cost of drugs like asthma drugs,” Cancela said on the floor of the Senate before the vote.

In Nevada, 10.4 percent of adults and 11.5 percent of children have asthma; both figures are higher than the national average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

The proposal builds on a law passed in 2017 championed by Cancela that requires similar disclosures for insulin. When it passed, it was considered the strictest drug-price disclosure law in the nation.

“What I liked about the legislation then was that we were shedding light on the whole process, all the way back to manufacturers,” said Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas. “The bill does the same thing here, and I’m grateful for the sponsor and what she’s trying to accomplish.”

Sens. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, and Joseph Hardy, R-Boulder City, voted against the bill. Hansen and Hardy also voted against the 2017 insulin transparency bill.

Ban on animal testing

Senate Bill 197, which would ban the sale of cosmetic products that were tested on animals, cleared the Senate by a 14-7 vote Thursday.

All 13 Democrats in the body voted for the bill sponsored by Sen. Melanie Scheible, D-Las Vegas. Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, the lone Republican to vote for it, said he supported it to “stand up for the little furry guy.”

“It’s a question as to whether this is a practice that we should continue doing or is necessary at this point,” Kieckhefer during the bill’s floor debate.

But Hardy said during the debate that he believes animal testing still has a place when it comes to cosmetics.

“When we test lipsticks, sometimes it’s probably wise to test it on an animal before we test it on a human,” he said.

Affordable housing

The Senate also approved a bill that supporters say would help the state address the growing affordable housing crisis.

Senate Bill 398, sponsored by Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, would require local governments to use certain money to develop affordable housing. It was approved by a 15-6 vote, with Kieckhefer and Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, joining the 13 Senate Democrats in voting in favor.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sisolak signs public records reform bill into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that strengthens Nevada’s public records law, making it easier and cheaper for people to get public records and providing for fines if public agencies willfully flout the law.