East County Magazine

Sanders Backs Ballot Measure to Lower Prescription Drug Costs in California

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday backed a California ballot initiative that aims to save state taxpayers from price gouging by pharmaceutical companies which charge Americans the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

“While Congress has failed to stand up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, the people of California can by supporting this ballot initiative,” the Vermont Senator said. “Americans living with HIV/AIDS and cancer should not live in fear that they will go bankrupt because of the outrageously high cost of their prescription drugs,” the Democratic presidential candidate added.

The California Drug Price Relief Act is supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and National Nurses United, both headquartered in Oakland, California.

The pharmaceutical industry is bankrolling a campaign to defeat the California initiative, pouring $50 million into the effort.

The proposition, if approved by California voters, would prohibit the state from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The nationwide VA health care system negotiates lower prices for pharmaceuticals.

(Read the rest here.)