Senator Bernie Sanders is Introducing the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act

Clara Gomes

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On Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, two Congressmen, Bernie Sanders, Vermont, and Ro Khanna, California, introduced legislation to drastically lower prescription drug prices. All over the United States, people have been suffering from their inability to afford imperative medication. If the Act were to prove successful, then drug prices could fall by 40%.

The Act is designed to force drug companies to lower their drug prices to the median or below already established drug prices in five countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of drug prices, people are losing their lives because they cannot afford their medication.

“What the pharmaceutical companies are doing is an outrage,” states Sanders. “Their policies are literally killing people who cannot afford their medicine.”

One example of this is Alex Smith of Indianapolis. Smith was just 26 when he had passed as the result of his decision to ration insulin. Because he had grown out of his mother’s health insurance, the insulin became too costly. Earning $35,000 a year as a restaurant manager, he couldn’t keep up with his $450 a month of health insurance. Smith was caught up in a situation in which his body was producing excess blood acids. The insulin he was in need of for his diabetes was an astonishing $1,300 a month. He died a month after starting to ration his insulin.

According to a report released in March 2018 by the American Diabetes Association, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States had risen 26% in the past five years alone. Despite the fact that President Donald Trump has made clear his stance on this issue and has declared his plan to lower drug prices, his proposal does not assist the 150 million Americans who receive private health insurance from their employer who might also be struggling with copayments and large deductibles. Many are recognizing Khanna’s and Sander’s legislation who address the struggles of both these populations.

Members of the South Windsor High School community have voiced their support for this legislation. “I don’t think its right to increase the prices of medicine that people need to live,” claims senior, Bailey Jensen, “Like how people pay for water. It’s kind of ridiculous how people have to pay for things that are so vital.”

“The Act should be passed because those who are less fortunate should be given the ability to receive help and the companies should take the responsibility,” states SWHS senior, Daihmon Moreno, “They need to think of the people who are in need and forget about just money and care for those in need.”

The United States has the highest prices for prescription drugs of any country in the world and Sanders provides a first step in the fight against outrageous and life-threatening drug pricing in our country.

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Senator Bernie Sanders is Introducing the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act