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DeFazio Introduces Rule to Require Fair Pricing on Taxpayer-Funded Prescription Drugs

Jul 31, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would end price gouging on prescription drugs and other health care products developed with taxpayer money.

Most recently, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur has refused to agree to fair pricing on a new Zika virus vaccine, despite having received millions of taxpayer dollars for the drug’s development. Without a fair pricing agreement, the company can charge Americans as much as it wants for the vaccine, despite the financial assistance it has received from the U.S. government.

The DeFazio-Sanders legislation would require federal agencies and federally-funded non-profit organizations to secure reasonable pricing agreements from drug manufacturers before granting exclusive rights to develop drugs, vaccines or other health care products.

 “Americans pay more out-of-pocket for prescription drugs than individuals in any other country, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and France,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “Additionally, billions of U.S. tax dollars are spent every year underwriting the development and distribution of prescription drugs and insulating private drug companies from direct competition. Bizarrely, there is no adequate regulation on the pharmaceutical industry to ensure drug companies can’t reap massive profits on the taxpayer’s dime. Our legislation will ensure a more equal playing field and rein in the drug companies’ reckless greed.”

"Sanofi and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry cannot be allowed to make huge profits on the backs of working class Americans, many of whom cannot afford the medication they are prescribed. The days of allowing Sanofi and other drug makers to gouge American consumers after taking billions in taxpayer money must end. That is why I am introducing legislation to demand fairer, lower prices for the Zika vaccine and for every drug developed with government resources. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said.

DeFazio and Sanders first introduced their legislation two decades ago with bipartisan support.

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