Sanders to join diabetes patients on trip to Canada to buy cheaper insulin

Sanders to join diabetes patients on trip to Canada to buy cheaper insulin
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (I-Vt.) announced Thursday he will accompany patients with diabetes on a bus trip to Canada to buy insulin that's available at cheaper prices than in the U.S.

The move comes as Sanders seeks to burnish his progressive bona fides as he vows to lower drug costs if elected president.

He will make the trip with members of Insulin4All on July 28.

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“Because of pharmaceutical industry greed, the U.S. price of insulin has nearly doubled in recent years, even though the drug can be purchased for one-tenth of the price in Canada,” Sanders's campaign said in a statement. “That price discrepancy is widespread across many medicines, which has fueled the more than $69 billion in annual pharmaceutical industry profits, even while millions of Americans cannot afford the prescription drugs they need.”

The campaign added that Sanders made a similar trip to Canada two decades ago, when he joined women with breast cancer on a trek to buy medication that was 10 percent of the price being charged in the Green Mountain State.

Sanders has sponsored legislation that would give the federal government the power to authorize generic versions of medicines if drug companies charge prices that are higher than those in other industrialized countries. He also introduced a bill in November to strip drug companies of their monopolies if their prices are deemed excessive.

Prescription drug prices have emerged as key issue for Democrats and the party’s base. Several presidential candidates have released plans that they say would lower drug costs.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.), one of Sanders’s chief progressive rivals in the presidential primary field, has unveiled a plan that would allow the government to step in and manufacture certain drugs that lack competition.

Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events There's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down MORE (D-Minn.), two other White House hopefuls, helped introduce a bill in December that would permit the government to intervene and stop certain price spikes for drugs.