Biopharma companies funnel cash to defeat Calif. drug proposal

Drug companies have been funneling tens of millions of dollars into a war chest that will be used to campaign against a California initiative that would require manufacturers to extend discounts to low-income residents or face being kicked off the state's Medicaid formulary. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have each anted up $8.54 million, with millions more coming from Amgen, Eli Lilly and Novartis. The money will also go to support an industry initiative that would create a voluntary discount program. Analysts say the companies are moving to protect millions in profits gained from the state's $4 billion Medicaid drug bill.

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