On Monday, Senator Sanders sent a letter to the United States’ chief trade representative, asking him to make permanent an exemption that gives people in developing countries access to life-saving medicine. In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, he slammed pharmaceutical companies that make huge profits by charging Americans the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world. Sanders called for common-sense gun safety reform after a shooting at a community college in Oregon Thursday.
The World Trade Organization will decide next month whether the world’s poorest countries can continue to access needed medications at more affordable prices. Sanders asked the chief trade representative for the United States Monday to ensure people in the poorest countries around the world have access to low-cost medicines. “Making sure people in poor countries have access to life-saving medicine is our moral responsibility,” Sanders wrote.
Comparing drug prices in the United States to those in other countries on Tuesday, Sanders condemned pharmaceutical companies that charge American consumers the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. “It is unacceptable that the top three pharmaceutical companies made a combined $45 billion in profits last year and spent more on sales and marketing than they did on research and development,” Sanders said in a speech on the floor of the Senate. “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.” Americans saw nationwide spending on drugs jump more than 12 percent last year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That increase was more than double the rise in overall medical costs. Nearly one in five Americans between the ages of 19 and 64 – 35 million people – did not fill a prescription last year because they could not afford it.
Sanders called for common-sense gun safety legislation after reports that at least 10 people were killed in a shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday. “The American people are horrified by these never-ending mass shootings, Sanders said. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the innocent victims. As a nation, we must do everything we can to put an end to this awful epidemic of senseless slaughter.
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