Issues

Fighting to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Access to health care is a human right, and that includes access to safe and affordable prescription drugs. It is time to enact prescription drug policies that work for everyone, not just the CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry.

The Problem

Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world. When we talk about health care, we are talking about the need of the American people to be able to afford the medicine their health care providers prescribe. A life-saving drug does no good if the people who need it cannot afford that drug.

Yet, last year, nearly one in five Americans between the ages of 19 and 64 – 35 million people – did not get their prescriptions filled because they did not have enough money. In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, Americans should not have to live in fear that they will go bankrupt or die because they cannot afford to take the medication they need.

In any given month, more than half of all American adults take at least one prescription drug. There is no question that medicines help millions of people live healthier and longer lives, and can also prevent more expensive illnesses and treatments. However, it is unacceptable that the United States now spends more than $370 billion on prescription drugs and spending is rising faster than at any point in the last decade.

Instead of listening to the demands of the pharmaceutical industry and their 1,400 lobbyists, it is time that Congress started listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly believe that the cost of medication is too expensive. More than 70 percent of Americans believe drug costs are unreasonable and that drug companies are putting profits before people.

The Sanders Plan To Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Americans filled 4.3 billion prescriptions last year. The Sanders plan includes six policies to get better deals for the American people. Sanders’ plan will:

1. Negotiate A Better Deal
2. Import Prescriptions from Canada
3. Restore Discounts for Low-Income Seniors
4. Prohibit Deals that Keep Generic Drugs Off the Market
5. Enact Stronger Penalties for Fraud
6. Require Pricing and Cost Transparency

This is not a partisan issue. Most Americans – Republicans, Democrats, and independents – want Congress to do something about drug prices. Tens of thousands of Americans now spend more than $100,000 a year on prescription medications. Drug costs are out of control because that’s the way pharmaceutical companies want it. Other countries have national health insurance plans that negotiate better prices for all of their residents. In this country, however, drug lobbyists have been able to block all of these common-sense solutions that we must work to pass into law. That is unacceptable and that has got to change.