Bernie Sanders, along with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), just proposed a rule requiring fair prices on prescription drugs and other healthcare products created with taxpayer money.
This bill, that was first proposed two years ago, comes at a time when drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur has refused to price a Zika virus vaccine fairly, even though $1 billion dollars of taxpayer dollars were used to fund this vaccine.
“Americans should not be forced to pay the highest prices in the world for a vaccine we spent more than $1 billion to help develop. Sanofi gets more than one-third of its roughly $34 billion in revenues from the United States alone, and its CEO made nearly $5 million in salary last year. Yet they have rejected the U.S. Army’s request for fair pricing. That is simply unacceptable,” Sanders said.
This new rule would prevent companies, like Sanofi, from acting unethically. It would require federal agencies and federally funded nonprofits to determine prices with manufacturers before they are given the right to exclusivity to make the drug, vaccine, etc.
Sanders’ rule has been introduced as an amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and is his latest attempt to prevent the Department of Defense and U.S. Army from awarding Sanofi an exclusive license to produce and sell the Zika vaccine.
“Sanofi and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry cannot be allowed to make huge profits on the backs of working class Americans, many of whom cannot afford the medication they are prescribed. The days of allowing Sanofi and other drug makers to gouge American consumers after taking billions in taxpayer money must end. That is why I am introducing legislation to demand fairer, lower prices for the Zika vaccine and for every drug developed with government resources. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose,” Sanders said.