Confronting the rampant and deadly greed of the pharmaceutical industry, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and several other Democratic lawmakers on Thursday to introduce a package of legislation aimed at dramatically reducing the nation's sky-high prescription drug prices.
"The United States pays by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," Sanders declared in a statement. "This has created a healthcare crisis in which one in five American adults cannot afford to get the medicine they need."
"If the pharmaceutical industry will not end its greed, which is literally killing Americans, then we will end it for them," the Vermont senator added.
The Democratic lawmakers unveiled their legislation at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Watch:
"I believe that healthcare is a basic human right," Omar said during the press conference. "Instead of taking donations from the pharmaceutical industry, we need to hold them accountable for taking advantage of the American people. Medications are too expensive, and we must act boldly to lower prices."
According to a preview provided to ABC News on Wednesday, the legislative package introduced on Thursday includes:
- The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, which would "peg the price of prescription drugs in the United States to the median price in five major countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan";
- The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, to "direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D"; and
- The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, which to "allow Americans to import safe, low-cost medicine from Canada and other major countries."
"How many people need to die, how many people need to get unnecessarily sicker before Congress is prepared to take on the greed of the prescription drug industry?" Sanders asked on Twitter.