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Sanders to Trump: How Many More Americans Need To Die Before You Have The Guts To Take On The Big Drug Companies?
From:
Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Burlington , VT
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

 

In a letter responding to Trump’s reversal on yet another prescription drug initiative, the Vermont senator demands specific executive action

July 16, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders released a letter to President Donald Trump demanding that he use existing executive authority to immediately reduce the price of prescription drugs. The letter comes in response to news that Trump has yet again capitulated to pharmaceutical lobbyists and blocked a measure to reduce the price of medicine in America.
“When you campaigned for president, you promised that you would use your power to significantly lower the price of prescription drugs in America. Like virtually all of your other promises, other than pushing through a huge tax giveaway for the wealthy and large corporations, you have failed to deliver,” Sanders wrote. “It is all too clear that during your presidency, you have surrendered to pharmaceutical lobbyists and backed off your own meager proposals to address the crisis…Frankly, Mr. President, it’s time for you to grow a spine, exert some leadership and stop the drug companies from ripping off American consumers.”
Sanders’ letter foreshadows a major speech he will be delivering this week about Medicare for All, political corruption and corporate greed in the health care sector. Later this month Sanders will also be joining a bus trip to Canada to help people with type 1 diabetes purchase the lower-priced insulin offered in that country.

In the current Congress, Sanders is the author of a new bill to slash the price of prescription drugs in half. He has also previously spearheaded legislative measures to stop the pharmaceutical industry from charging Americans the world’s highest prices. Referring to some of those initiatives in his letter to Trump, Sanders outlined specific steps that the president has the power to take right now to address the crisis amid a 10 percent increase in prescription drug prices over the last six months. They include:
  • Issuing an HHS certification of a drug importation program that implements Sanders’ 2000 legislation to allow American pharmacists and wholesalers to purchase lower-priced FDA-approved prescription medications from other industrialized nations.
     
  • Exercising federal march-in rights to produce lower-priced generic versions of medications that were originally developed at taxpayer expense. 
     
  • Reinstituting and enforcing the National Institutes of Health regulation that requires medicines developed at taxpayer expense to be offered to consumers at a fair and reasonable price. Two decades ago, the House passed Sanders’ bipartisan legislation to do this — but the drug industry prevented it from being implemented
Read the full letter here:

Dear President Trump:
When you campaigned for president, you promised that you would use your power to significantly lower the price of prescription drugs in America. Like virtually all of your other promises, other than pushing through a huge tax giveaway for the wealthy and large corporations, you have failed to deliver. 
With reports that prescription drug prices have risen over 10 percent in the last six months, your failure of leadership is literally endangering the health of the American people. It is all too clear that during your presidency, you have surrendered to pharmaceutical lobbyists and backed off your own meager proposals to address the crisis. 
You hired a former pharmaceutical lobbyist to spearhead your prescription drug policies, and you hired a former Eli Lilly executive to run the Department of Health and Human Services, and the dark money group supporting your political agenda has raked in more than $2 million directly from the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying group. 
You then reversed course on a proposed drug rebate rule, and your administration  proposed limiting the government’s existing power to reduce the price of medicines that were developed at taxpayer expense. You have also used your power to give pharmaceutical companies giant tax breaks. They have returned the favor by charging Americans the world’s highest prices for medicine.
If you are serious about lowering prescription drug prices, rather than telling lies, I would urge you to take the following actions:
  • Issue an HHS certification of a drug importation program that finally implements my 2000 legislation to allow American pharmacists and wholesalers to purchase lower-priced FDA-approved prescription medications from other industrialized nations.
     
  • Exercise federal march-in rights to produce lower-priced generic versions of medications that were originally developed at taxpayer expense. 
     
  • Reinstitute and enforce the National Institutes of Health regulation that requires medicines developed at taxpayer expense to be offered to consumers at a fair and reasonable price. Two decades ago, the U.S. House passed my bipartisan legislation to do this — but the drug industry prevented it from being implemented. It can be done today.
Finally, we need legislation that ties prescription drug prices to the prices charged for the same medicines in other countries.  This would lower the cost of prescription drugs by up to 50 percent and keep Americans from bring gouged by the big drug companies.
The time is now to end the rhetoric and do something real to lower prescription drugs costs in our country.
Frankly, Mr. President, it’s time for you to grow a spine, exert some leadership and stop the drug companies from ripping off American consumers.
Sincerely, 
Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders for President 2020
Burlington, VT
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