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Patients and health-care advocates are rallying on the State Capitol for legislation regarding so-called “pay-for-delay” deals, where pharmaceutical companies pay generic drug makers to keep their products off the market. The first-in-the nation bill has to pass the state Senate Appropriations Committee by tomorrow in order to get a full vote this session. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Santa Rosa authored the bill. He says generics introduce competition and help drive prices down for consumers.

:09  “If you can keep people on the brand name drug for longer, it costs your insurance company more money, your premiums are higher. It costs all of us more money, and that needs to change.”

Tag:  The bill would step up enforcement of laws against these types of deals and place the burden of proof on the drug companies to prove they aren’t making payments for anti-competitive purposes. Pharmaceutical companies argue this law would open up the floodgates for expensive consumer lawsuits, which could drive prices up.


Second Cut: The Federal Trade Commission says Americans pay at least three-and-a-half billion dollars more a year for brand-name drugs because generic companies take money to “sit on” their new products rather than release them. Wood says the drug companies’ claim that this bill would actually slow the arrival of generic drugs doesn’t hold water.

:09  “We hear from the drug companies that many of these agreements get the drugs to market sooner and they are not anti-competitive. And so I’ve asked, you know, ‘Show me.’ And no one’s been able to do that.”

Tag:  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently settled four lawsuits amounting to 70-million dollars against drug companies over “pay-for-delay” practices.

A man from Illinois whose body was found in Lake County died of blunt force trauma to the head. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports an autopsy was performed yesterday on human remains found Monday which were believed to be Grant Whitaker.  Whitaker’s family reported he was camping with Mavrick Fisher in Trinity County and they had an argument and they hadn’t heard from him since. Fisher was found in Rosarito, Mexico soon after and is expected to be extradited and booked into custody at the Lake County Jail sometime today on a no bail probable cause warrant. They’re still investigating the death and are asking anyone who may know anything to call the Sheriff’s office.

The state legislature is looking at ways to address the massive shortage of affordable housing. Residents with Section 8 vouchers pay only 30% of what they earn for rent, then they get federal assistance to pay the rest. Sometimes there’s a years long wait for housing for Section 8 applicants. State lawmakers are considering two bills, one to give landlords more of an incentive to accept Section 8 tenants with a 3% tax break of whatever the voucher’s worth. And the other bill would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants getting federal housing vouchers or local housing assistance. The two bills will be considered tomorrow in the state Assembly.

Representatives from Pacific Gas and Electric meeting with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for another presentation of their intended Public Safety Power Shutoffs. They spoke last month to supervisors and came back again after criticism of the presentation. PG&E representatives say they’re watching their equipment closely in Mendocino County with 354 transmission lines in the County. There are also 15 substations in the county. Much of the equipment sits in high fire risk zones. Now the utility company says there could be possible power shutoffs of more than seven days. Supervisors mostly concerned about people with medical conditions without power. And Supervisor John Haschak says he was told by firefighters that having more backup power generators could increase the risks of wildfire.

A high schooler in Ukiah’s been arrested after a honey oil lab is found at his home. Police say the kid was selling drugs on campus and arrested the 14 year old. They say he had several prescription pills, concentrated cannabis, two vape pens, and other controlled substances. He was booked at the Mendocino County Juvenile Detention Center on several charges. They got search warrants finding the honey oil lab at his house and more prescription drugs and evidence of sales. An 18 year old man then was also arrested for suspicion of possessing prescription narcotics for sale, child endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy to commit a crime.

A new weather website has been launched by PG&E so residents in the state can watch forecasts in real time and make sure there are no Red Flag Warnings as fire season starts. The new website, has predictions of up to a week in advance when they’re considering cutting power due to hazardous conditions. Weather conditions like high winds, low humidity and low moisture content of vegetation will trigger public power safety shutoffs for hours and possibly days. Residents should also be notified with 48 hours’ notice before shutoffs, when possible. The website has weather and wind information gathered from weather stations across the state.

The mom of a missing woman from Ukiah, says she thinks she was murdered. Kym Kemp reporting Tellie Simmons mother speaking about the cold case last year. Simmons was a manager of a cannabis manufacturer/distributor. The woman posted online a year before she went missing she had suicidal thoughts. The last time police had dealings with her was in July of 2013 when she was arrested with a man after they were found in a stolen SUV with drug paraphernalia on them. Police say they’re still investigating her disappearance, but there have been no developments.

Adventist Health taking over Mendocino Coast District Hospital is still in negotiations. The health care company reportedly submitted a proposal in June and an Ad Hoc Affiliation Committee has reportedly met with staff from Adventist on their proposal. A few more members have been added to the ad hoc committee in the meantime. Final negotiations are expected sometime near the end of October and could take several weeks. The hospital board’s finance committee met Tuesday at the same time the Finance Committee Chair had asked 10 hospital department leaders to find ways to trim 10 percent of their expenses or raise revenue by the same amount.

A woman who chained her dog outside when it was too hot without shelter and water has been arrested. Lake Co News reports 24 year old Champagne Delsie Leubner is charged with a count of felony animal abuse after being arrested earlier this month.   The arrest after Clearlake Animal Control gets a call in July about an animal without food or water sitting tied up in direct sun. An animal control officer went to the home found a dog chained up and tangled in the cable without shade or food or water and found the dog was suffering from heatstroke and took it to a vet. The dog had to be put to sleep after being found its body temperature was too high to read. Leubner booked on $35,000 bail which she posted and was released. She’s due back in court next month.

Local campgrounds could soon start to pay into Mendo County to support local fire districts. The Advocate newspaper reports the Board of Supervisors approved sales tax measures that would help support the county library system and ambulance service. They also covered the long sought after mental health section for the county jail, and looked at coming up with ‘multi-use cannabis zones. The board is reportedly working with designers on the mental health wing at the jail. The architects specialize in jails and there was unanimous support for refinements to the plan. The board also directing staff to finally approve a countywide ambulance service. And they looked at a possible sales tax measure for 2024 for the library system.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors looking at changes for the Water Resources Department to merge it with the Department of Public Works. The move to reportedly improve oversight and leadership. The move on Tuesday at the regular board meeting after a recommendation by an ad hoc committee which had reviewed info on the inner workings of various public works departments in comparable counties. Apparently more than half of them had water resources and/or Flood Control as part of their public works departments. Back in 2016 it was decided to separate the departments, but then it was revisited again this year. There will therefore be a new director for Water Resources with a salary of nearly $121,000 year.

A new health clinic coming to Guerneville because the Russian River Health Center is cramped. This according to a story today in the Press Democrat. One room at the center for the lead medical assistant and three nurses which is connected to another medical office which the newspaper reports looks more like a hallway. The modular building put up after a fire destroyed the first center in 2015. West County Health Centers broke ground last Friday on the new $14 million Russian River Health & Wellness Center. They say they should be finishing construction on the 10,000-square-foot medical and dental clinic’s by the end of 2020.

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