Titled The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, and The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, the three new measures would dramatically alter a status quo under which pharmaceutical corporations have broad discretion to set prices as they please, with little government regulation standing in the way and minimal generic competition.
Under The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to ensure that the U.S. public doesn’t pay more for prescription medicines than the people of Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. According to a RAND Corporation study released in January, U.S. prescription drug prices are more than two-and-a-half times higher on average than those of 32 OECD nations, including the five countries named in the new bill.
“If pharmaceutical manufacturers refuse to lower drug prices down to the median price of these five countries, the federal government would be required to approve cheaper generic versions of those drugs, regardless of any patents or market exclusivities that are in place,” reads a summary (pdf) of the bill released by Sanders’ office.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the lead sponsor of the legislation in the House, said Tuesday that “in the wealthiest nation on planet Earth, no one should be choosing between paying for their medications or paying their rent.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction