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Donkees

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Jan 2019 - Sanders, Cummings and Colleagues Announce Legislation to Lower Drug Prices



Streamed live on Jan 10, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Joe Neguse (D-Co.) and other cosponsors in the House and Senate hold a press conference to announce a legislative package that would drastically reduce prescription drug prices in the United States.

Jan 2019 - Sweeping Plan to Lower Drug Prices Introduced in Senate and House

Sweeping Plan to Lower Drug Prices Introduced in Senate and House
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) along with more than two dozen of their colleagues in the House and Senate introduced sweeping reforms Thursday that would dramatically reduce prescription drug prices in the United States.

The plan to reduce the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs includes three bills:

The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, which would peg 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;

The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D;

The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, which would allow patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to import safe, affordable medicine from Canada and other major countries.

The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act would lower drug prices in the United States by 50 percent according to Dean Baker. Additionally, the U.S. government could save close to $360 billion over 10 years if Medicare negotiated the same prices for drugs as people in Canada pay, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"The United States pays by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. This has created a health care crisis in which 1 in 5 American adults cannot afford to get the medicine they need," Sanders said. "That is why I am introducing legislation to drastically bring down the cost of prescription drugs. If the pharmaceutical industry will not end its greed, which is literally killing Americans, then we will end it for them."

"These bills are important because it’s time to provide much-needed relief to the American people," Cummings said. "No more talk. No more tweets. The American people want action. They should not have to decide between paying their bills or paying for their prescriptions. We’re a better country than that. We need real and immediate action to lower drug prices in this country. The American people deserve that, and I will do everything I can to help deliver that for them."

"There is absolutely no reason for the big pharmaceutical companies to make Americans pay higher prescription drug prices than they charge our friends in Canada, Germany, and the UK. Today we’re sending big pharma a message: market exclusivity is a privilege, and when you abuse that by price gouging the sick and aging, then you lose that privilege," Khanna said. "This bill will bring down drug prices by taking on monopolies and boosting prescription drug competition."

President Donald Trump said repeatedly during his campaign that he would take action against drug companies and bring down prices. But in the first seven months of 2018 alone, there were 96 drug price hikes for every price cut. Four major drug manufacturers combined made more than $50 billion in profits last year. In addition, in 2017 1 in 5 Americans reported they did not fill a prescription because of cost.

Meanwhile, in Canada and other major countries, the same medications, manufactured by the same companies, in the same factories are available for a fraction of the price compared to the United States. In 2017, Americans spent $1,208 per person on prescription drugs while Canadians spent $860 and people in the U.K. spent $476.

The measures introduced today are overwhelmingly supported by the American people. Seventy-two percent of Americans favor allowing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, and 92 percent of the American people support allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sweeping-plan-to-lower-drug-prices-introduced-in-senate-and-house

Nov 2018 - Sanders, Khanna to Introduce Legislation to Drastically Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Sanders, Khanna to Introduce Legislation to Drastically Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 20 – At a time when one in five American adults cannot afford to get the prescription medication they need, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) announced they will introduce the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act at the start of the new Congress to significantly reduce prescription drug prices for Americans.

This bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make sure that Americans don’t pay more for prescription drugs than the median price in five major countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. If pharmaceutical manufacturers refuse to lower drug prices below that level, the federal government would approve cheaper generic versions of those drugs, regardless of any patents or market exclusivities in place.

If this legislation were to become law, the median price of brand name prescription drugs could go down by more than 40 percent, and savings for certain brand name prescription drugs could be even greater.

“No other country allows pharmaceutical companies to charge any price they want for any reason they want. Somebody in America today can walk into a pharmacy and find out that the medicine they have been using for years can double, triple or quadruple literally overnight. That needs to change,” Sanders said. “The greed of the prescription drug industry is literally killing Americans and it has got to stop.”

“There is absolutely no reason for the big pharmaceutical companies to make Americans pay higher prescription drug prices than they charge our friends in Canada, Germany, and the UK. Today we’re sending big pharma a message: market exclusivity is a privilege, and when you abuse that by price gouging the sick and aging, then you lose that privilege,” Khanna said. “This bill will bring down drug prices by taking on monopolies and boosting prescription drug competition.”

President Donald Trump said repeatedly during his campaign that he would take action against drug companies and bring down prices. But in the first seven months of 2018 alone, there were 96 drug price hikes for every price cut. And on Friday, Pfizer announced it is planning to raise prices on 41 more drugs in January.

Earlier this year, Trump proposed a pilot program to gradually lower the prices of certain drugs covered by Medicare Part B to international price levels. But his proposal does not help the more than 150 million Americans who get private health insurance from their employer, many of whom struggle with high deductibles and copayments, or the more than 30 million Americans who are uninsured and must pay the full cash price of their prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Sanders and Khanna’s legislation would address the needs of both of those populations.

Click here to read the Senate version of the bill. Click here to read the House version.
Click here for a section-by-section summary of the bill.
Click here for a one-page summary of the bill.

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-khanna-to-introduce-legislation-to-drastically-lower-prescription-drug-prices

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