NEW YORK — Andrew Yang today unveiled his plan to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and to lower drug prices. Prescription drugs in this country cost too much; individual drugs change prices at the whims of those running pharmaceutical companies.
“For too long, pharmaceutical companies have been trying to profit from the sick while imposing exorbitant costs on the American people. It needs to stop,” said Andrew Yang. “If the pharmaceutical companies are not willing to compromise, we need to ensure the U.S. government has the ability to force licenses for these drugs to companies who will, to control the outrageous cost of prescription drugs.”
Brand name prescription drug prices have risen 76% over the past six years, and they’re not slowing down. Patent trolls, or nonoperating companies that extract cash settlements from companies they accuse of patent infringement, can drive the prices of certain medications up while providing no value themselves to the U.S. healthcare system.
And while drug companies complain constantly about the high cost of research, they fail to mention that almost all FDA-approved drugs over the past several years relied on research funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). They also don’t mention the record-high profits they’ve been experiencing in recent years. While drug companies bring in only 23% of healthcare’s U.S. revenue, they make 63% of the total profits. In 2017, Purdue Pharma alone earned more than $35 billion from OxyContin sales.
It’s making it impossible for Americans who need drugs to afford their treatment—many are choosing between their medicine and food or shelter.
Ultimately, we need to authorize the creation of public manufacturing facilities to make these drugs, as well as other necessary drugs and unprofitable but necessary medications, for the American people. If all else fails, we need to allow the importation of medications from other countries.
Read Andrew Yang’s plan to lower drug prices here.