Warren unveils bill to lower drug prices by letting government manufacture them

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday unveiled a bill aimed at lowering drug prices by allowing the government to step in and manufacture certain drugs that lack competition.

The bill from Warren, who is considered a likely 2020 presidential contender, comes as Democrats are putting forward a range of new ideas on how to lower drug prices, a top priority for the public and an issue that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE has also highlighted.

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Warren’s bill would create a new office in the Department of Health and Human Services that would be empowered to manufacture generic drugs itself and sell them at fair prices, if no company is already making the drug, or if one or two companies are making the drug and the prices spike.

“In market after market, competition is dying as a handful of giant companies spend millions to rig the rules, insulate themselves from accountability, and line their pockets at the expense of American families,” Warren said in a statement.

Other possible Democratic presidential contenders have also been pointing to ideas to lower drug prices recently.

Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest partial shutdown MORE (D-Ore.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination CNN analyst Phil Mudd: Barr will ‘crush’ Trump administration 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony MORE (D-Minn.) helped introduce a bill last week to allow the government to step in and stop certain price spikes for drugs.

And Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Bill Maher defends Bernie Sanders campaign over sexual harassment allegations MORE (I-Vt.) unveiled a bill last month to strip drug companies of their monopolies if their prices are deemed excessive.

Warren’s bill is different than some others in that it targets generic drugs, which are often thought of as cheap. But Warren’s office said the generic drug market is “broken” and lacks competition, pointing to an investigation into a massive price-fixing scheme in the generic drug market. 

Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDems seek House panel's support to block military funds for Trump border wall The new Democratic Congress has an opportunity to move legislation to help horses Ocasio-Cortez sparks debate with talk of 70 percent marginal rate MORE (D-Ill.) introduced the bill in the House.