The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Briggs: (202) 228-6492


Sanders and Klobuchar to Demand Senate Debate Prescription Drug Reform

Senators to Ask Unanimous Consent to Take Up Legislation to Allow Medicare to Pay Same Prices for Drugs as VA


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Wednesday will formally demand that the U.S. Senate begin debate on legislation to lower prescription drug prices for millions of Americans.

"For far too long, it has not been Congress that has been regulating the pharmaceutical industry," said Sanders. "It has been the pharmaceutical industry that has been regulating Congress. Well, those days will be coming to an end today if we finally have the courage to stand up to them."

"We can no longer tolerate policies that make prescription drugs unaffordable and out-of-reach - Congress must act," said Klobuchar. "Last month alone, drug companies hiked the prices of 742 drugs in the U.S., including some of the world's best-selling drugs like Humira. We know how to bring down the cost of these medications, and every day that goes by without implementing meaningful reform is a day too long. This bill that Sen. Sanders and I are introducing will get this done."

Sanders and Klobuchar will be on the floor Wednesday afternoon to ask for unanimous consent that the Senate take up and debate legislation that empowers Medicare to pay lower prices for prescription drugs like the Veterans Administration. For the last 30 years, the Veterans Administration has negotiated prices with the pharmaceutical industry while Medicare has not. The result is that Medicare pays twice as much as the Veterans Administration for the exact same prescription drugs, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The speeches by Sanders and Klobuchar will be streamed live on Sanders' social media channels.

To read the legislation, see here.

To read the fact sheet, see here.

United States Senator for Vermont

(202) 224-5141