On World AIDS Day, San­ders De­mands Af­ford­able Drugs

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Wash­ing­ton, DC

On World AIDS Day, Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) con­demned price goug­ing by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies on life­sav­ing drugs to treat the dis­ease.

“The big­gest prob­lem in car­ing for those with AIDS is no longer mainly a med­i­cal or sci­en­tific prob­lem – the cri­sis is ac­cess to af­ford­able drugs,” San­ders said. “Peo­ple are dy­ing in Amer­ica be­cause they can't af­ford to pay the out­ra­geous prices for medicine they need to live. In the rich­est na­tion in the world, we must do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to get peo­ple the medicine they need at a price they can af­ford.”

Last year, one in five Amer­i­cans – 35 mil­lion peo­ple – were un­able to af­ford to fill their pre­scrip­tions. The price of Dara­prim, a drug taken by AIDS pa­tients, was re­cently in­creased 5,000 per­cent overnight.

San­ders and Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings (D-Md.) have in­tro­duced com­pre­hen­sive leg­is­la­tion to lower the sky­rock­et­ing cost of prescription drugs. Their bills would au­tho­rize the sec­re­tary of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices to ne­go­ti­ate drug prices with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and re­duce bar­ri­ers to the im­por­ta­tion of lower-cost drugs from Canada and other coun­tries. San­ders and Cum­mings have also con­ducted a year-long in­ves­tiga-

tion into ris­ing prices.

“The United States is the only ma­jor coun­try on earth that does not in one form or an­other reg­u­late prescription drug prices and the re­sults have been an un­mit­i­gated dis­as­ter,” San­ders said. “We must take on the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try that has been rip­ping off the Amer­i­can peo­ple and pass leg­is­la­tion to lower the cost of life­sav­ing drugs.”

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