- Associated Press - Saturday, June 3, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Friday vetoed a bid to put Nevada at the forefront of a national debate over soaring prescription drug prices by imposing strict disclosure rules on insulin manufacturers.

The bill backed by a coalition of casino owners and their workers’ unions as well as Democratic legislative leaders aimed to force pharmaceutical companies to turn over their insulin list prices, profits and planned price changes.

Sandoval said in a veto message the “nascent, unproven, and disruptive change to public health policy” failed to account for market dynamics and could raise prices.

He wrote at length of his particular concern with the provision that would have mandated drugmakers give public notice 90 days before making any changes in insulin prices, saying that that could create a perverse incentive for some companies to manipulate insulin supplies.

“This could potentially lead to stockpiling of drugs or other artificial mechanisms for adjusting the supply of medication based on the guarantee of higher profits in the future,” he wrote.

The former federal judge also noted potential legal issues related to federal pre-emption, uncompensated takings and the Dormant Commerce Clause.

“While the ultimate disposition of any legal claim challenging SB265 would be for the courts to decide, lengthy and expensive litigation and legal uncertainty could destabilize the market for diabetes drugs and jeopardize a new secure supply of these drugs,” Sandoval wrote.

Earlier in May, legislative attorneys issued a written opinion that the proposal was legally sound.

Bill sponsor Sen. Yvanna Cancela and supporters argued disclosure could lead drugmakers to lower insulin prices or allow patients to take legal action against price gouging.

“The reality is Nevadans with diabetes face insulin price gouging every day and they shouldn’t have to,” Cancela said in an emailed statement. “Nevada had the potential to lead the nation in taking on high drug costs, and tonight we have lost that opportunity.”

Sandoval’s veto pen hit the measure one day after the Democratic-controlled Legislature scrapped his proposal to fund a two-year-old, unimplemented school voucher program.

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