Professor King & Katie Gudiksen Co-Author Commentary on California’s Drug Transparency Law

Professor Jaime S. King and Katherine L. Gudiksen, senior research fellow at the Source on Healthcare Price and Competition, co-authored Commentary on California’s Drug Transparency Law (SB-17) for the September edition of Health Affairs, the leading peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research.

Along with Timothy T. Brown, associate professor of health economics at UC Berkeley, and Christopher M. Whaley, associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, the UC Law SF health law experts contributed the Commentary, “California’s Drug Transparency Law:  A First Step Toward State-Based Pharmaceutical Price Controls,” to examine the provisions of SB-17, discuss the potential legal challenges to it, and analyze its ability to make an impact.

Professor King will be presenting the study at an issue briefing on September 17 in Santa Monica.


The California drug transparency bill (SB-17), signed into law in October 2017, seeks to promote transparency in pharmaceutical pricing, enhance understanding about pharmaceutical pricing trends, and assist in managing pharmaceutical costs. This article examines the legal and regulatory aspects of SB-17, explores legal challenges to the law, compares it to other state efforts to address rising drug prices, and discusses how California can maximize the impact of SB-17 by coupling the law with other incentives. While SB-17 might not significantly reduce drug prices, the new law represents a meaningful step for one state seeking to negotiate the political and legal boundaries of state action to rein in drug prices.