With healthcare costs and prescription drug prices soaring more and more every year, on Nov. 8, Indian-American voters will have the choice between two measures promising lower prescription drug prices—Proposition 78, sponsored by the prescription drug companies, and Proposition 79, backed by health and consumer advocates.

It is important that people know there is a key difference between these two measures—enforceable versus voluntary. Proposition 78 allows drug companies to voluntarily offer discounts, an approach that has already failed in California. Proposition 79, is an enforcement mechanism. If a drug company refuses to provide discounts, the state can shift business away from that company and buy from other drug companies that offer discounts.

I support Prop. 79, drug discounts Californians can count on. Prop. 79 is an effort by health, senior, and consumer advocates. On the other hand, Prop. 78 is designed by the prescription drug companies with a $50 million budget especially geared to defeat Prop. 79.

As an Indian American, I feel strongly that my fellow South Asians go to vote. If we don’t vote, the drug companies win. With rising costs of real estate, gas prices, we know how it feels to pay for health care.

Support the measure backed by consumer, health, and senior advocates. Vote yes on Proposition 79.

Rani Jayakumar, via email

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