Sanders releases plan to lower AIDS drug prices

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Bernie Sanders on Monday released a plan aimed at making HIV/AIDS drugs more affordable, part of a larger effort aimed at bringing down prescription prices. 

{mosads}Sanders’s plan would be a major shake-up of the current drug system. Instead of exclusive marketing rights for a new drug, which keeps out competition for a number of years, Sanders would reward companies for innovations with a $3 billion fund, but open up their products immediately to competition. The goal is to bring down prices while still providing an incentive for companies to innovate. 

The proposal fits with Sanders’s themes of pounding pharmaceutical companies and stressing the need to bring down prices. 

“One of the great moral issues of our day is that people with HIV and AIDS are suffering and, in some cases, dying in America because they can’t afford to pay the outrageous prices being charged for the medicine they need to live,” Sanders said in a statement. “We must do everything possible to end the greed of the pharmaceutical companies and get people the medicine they need at a price they can afford.”

The proposal also comes on the heels of Hillary Clinton taking criticism for praising Nancy Reagan for starting a conversation on HIV/AIDS, for which Clinton later apologized

“We have come a long way since our political leaders refused to recognize the thousands of people dying at the height of the AIDS epidemic,” Sanders said in the statement Monday. “We must finish the fight by providing everyone living with HIV access to affordable drugs, by passing legislation to protect against discrimination and by expanding support and prevention services.”

Sanders released a proposal along the same lines in 2012. 

Sanders’s other drug pricing proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and allowing importation of cheaper drugs from abroad. 

Clinton has also denounced pharmaceutical companies and has proposed many of the same ideas.

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