Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is asking whether President Donald Trump and other Republicans "have the guts" to stand up to drug companies.
In a column for The Washington Post, Sanders challenged the president and the rest of the GOP to join with him in fighting to lower the costs of prescription drugs.
"President Trump and other Republicans have talked about the greed of the pharmaceutical industry," Sanders said. "Recently, Trump said (rightly) that Big Pharma is 'getting away with murder.'
"But talk is cheap. The question is: Will Republicans really have the guts to join me and many of my colleagues in standing up to the drug companies to fight for American consumers and end the disgrace of having our country pay by far the highest prescription drug prices in the world?"
But Sanders said if Trump believes what he has said in the past about the pharmaceutical industry he will get the rest of the GOP to join him in the fight.
"The five largest drug manufacturers made more than $50 billion in profits in 2015," Sanders said. "Meanwhile, nearly 1 out of 5 Americans could not afford the medicine they were prescribed. The result: Millions of Americans became sicker, and some ended up in emergency rooms at great cost. Others unnecessarily lost their lives.
"It is beyond comprehension that while Americans are suffering and dying because they cannot afford the medications they need, the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the pharmaceutical industry collectively made $327 million in 2015. These executives get richer while Americans die."
He said the drug companies will not easily give up the billions in profit they make from American consumers. And he noted the companies spent more than $3 billion lobbying since 1998 and made more than $58 million in political contributions in 2016.
"If the president meant what he said during the campaign, he will join me in this fight," Sanders concluded. It can't wait any longer."
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