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Opinion
The Editors

An Easy Way to Cut Drug Costs

California is weighing a small but valuable change to its rules for pharmaceutical companies.
Those coupons come at a high price.

Those coupons come at a high price.

Photograph: MCT/MCT via Getty Images

In the absence of national action to control the high price of prescription drugs, California is considering a small state rule that could make a big difference. It targets a game that pharmaceutical companies play to keep people spending more than they need to on medicines.

The rule, contained in legislation now on the governor's desk, would bar the use of coupons to help consumers cover the cost of co-payments for any brand-name drugs for which there is a generic alternative that works as well.