Sen. Sanders backs California's drug spending bill: 5 quotes

The Los Angeles Times recently featured an opinion piece from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in which he encouraged Californians to vote for the California Drug Price Relief Act, or Proposition 61, on Election Day.

Prop 61 would prevent the state from paying more than the U.S. Department of Veteran affairs spends for the same drugs. The VA pays about 24 percent less for drugs than most government agencies and about 40 percent less than Medicare Part D, according to Sen. Sanders.

Here are five quotes from the article.

  1. On price hikes: "Today, no laws prevent drug companies from doubling or tripling prices. So they just do it. The most recent flagrant example is the emergency allergy injection, EpiPen. Its maker, Mylan, jacked up the price of this 40-year-old medication by 461 percent between 2007 and 2015. During that same period, compensation for Mylan’s CEO rose 671 percent. And that’s just one company and one drug."

  1. On global drug prices: "It's unacceptable that the exact drugs that we buy in our country are sold in Canada, Britain and other countries for a fraction of the price."

  1. On how price hikes affect the nation: "The soaring cost of medicine is a major health crisis nationwide. One out of five Americans age 19 to 64 cannot afford their prescriptions. Hundreds of thousands of seniors cut their pills in half to stretch one month's prescription into two. Many of those patients will get sicker and some will die. Meanwhile, the five largest drug companies made more than $50 billion in profits last year. The top 10 CEOs in the industry received a total of more than $327 million in compensation."

  1. On pharma's lobbying: "[Drug companies] currently have 1,266 lobbyists on their payrolls in Washington, D.C., and 118 fighting for their priorities in Sacramento. They've made hundreds of millions in campaign contributions to politicians. And just this year, massive pharma lobbying efforts killed two bills in the heavily Democratic California Legislature that would have made modest steps toward drug-pricing transparency."

  1. On the benefits of Prop 61: "The drug industry also argues that less than 20 percent of Californians will benefit from Proposition 61. In fact, the measure will provide relief to all Californians whose tax dollars pay for the drugs used to treat many Medi-Cal recipients and state employees. Taxpayers would save an estimated $1 billion a year."

 

More articles on supply chain:

Biosimilar drugs offer only small savings from their brand name counterparts
IOS adds 2-bin functionality to supply chain solution
FDA warns hospitals about St. Louis devicemaker selling unapproved devices

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