Making prescription drugs more affordable for Californians

Granddaughter hugging her grandmother from behind

People should not go into debt to receive lifesaving medication.
California is officially launching the CalRx® Initiative – to make medications more affordable for all Californians.

father carrying his young daughter through a cow pasture

California will disrupt the drug market industry by offering prescription drugs at low-cost, transparent prices

CalRx® will break down market barriers to affordable prescription drugs for all Californians who need it – making a healthy life a right for everyone, not just for a privileged few.

How does the CalRx® Initiative work?

CalRx® represents a groundbreaking solution for addressing drug affordability. Originally announced in January 2019 in Governor Newsom’s first Executive Order and later signed into law in the California Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act of 2020 (Pan, SB 852, Chapter 207, Statutes of 2020), CalRx® empowers the State of California to develop, produce, and distribute generic drugs and sell them at low cost.

The State will target prescription drugs where the pharmaceutical market has failed to lower drug costs, even when a generic or biosimilar medication is available. 

The first drug manufactured will be insulin. Once approved by the FDA, Californians can ask their doctor or pharmacist for a CalRx biosimilar insulin.

The CalRx® Biosimilar Insulin Initiative will lay the groundwork for future drug projects.

How does CalRx® help make prescription drugs more affordable?

Bringing CalRx® products into the drug market will create more competition, which will help shift the industry from obscure, rebate-based pricing towards low, transparent pricing.

  • CalRx® will use transparent pricing – and set as low as possible – based on the development, production, and distribution costs.
  • CalRx® will develop target drugs in collaboration with the State’s public programs.
  • CalRx® will be available for doctors to prescribe and will be available through a variety of outlets, such as a local pharmacy or retail outlet.
  • CalRx® is not a coupon program. As mandated by law, CalRx® will only use federally mandated rebates or discounts, not other ones.
How can I participate?

The intent is that drugs produced through the CalRx® program will be available to all Californians. You do not have to apply, and there are no eligibility requirements.

“Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

CalRx’s first project will be low cost, biosimilar insulin for Californians who need it.

Doctor hugging her patient in the exam room

The CalRx® Biosimilar Insulin Initiative

California is investing $100 million into developing a biosimilar insulin product and building a California-based drug manufacturing facility to lower insulin costs.

Governor Newsom speaks at the CalRx announcement

$30 insulin by CalRx®

California selects Civica to manufacture affordable insulin under CalRx® Biosimilar Insulin Initiative

Learn more on how CalRx® works

CalRx® represents a groundbreaking solution for addressing drug affordability

Mother and daughter cuddling on the couch and smiling.
Official Portrait of Governor Gavin Newsom

Insulin Initiative Announcement

California is going to make its own insulin. It’s simple. People should not go into debt to get life-saving medication.