Sanders to Cut Prescription Drug Prices in Half

Sanders to Cut Prescription Drug Prices in Half

BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders declared today that, if elected president, he would take on the pharmaceutical industry and cut the cost of prescription drugs in half in the United States. Sanders said on CBS’s Face the Nation:

“It is absurd that Americans are forced to pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while the top 5 drug companies made over $50 billion in profits last year.  We have a national health emergency when one out of five Americans cannot afford to purchase the medicine their doctors prescribe. Whether the drug companies like it or not, that is a situation which must end, and end soon.”

Sanders made the statement in reference to the Prescription Drug Relief Act, which he introduced in the Senate in January. The legislation would set the price of prescription drugs in the United States to the median price in five major countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

If pharmaceutical manufacturers refuse to lower drug prices down to the median price in these five countries, the federal government would be required to approve cheaper generic versions of those drugs, regardless of any patents or market exclusivities that are in place.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research recently estimated that if Sanders’ legislation were to become law, it is likely “to mean a reduction in the price of most brand drugs by around 50 percent.”

The bill is only Sanders’ latest  initiative aimed at reducing the price of prescription drugs. In 2017, he authored legislation to force drug companies that rely on taxpayer-funded research to offer medicines at reasonable prices.

He also led the fight for legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. And, as the first Member of Congress to lead trips to Canada to help seniors buy prescription drugs, he has spearheaded the fight to allow pharmacists and wholesalers to purchase and sell lower-priced FDA-approved medications from other countries.

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