Bernie Sanders Endorses California’s Drug Price Relief Act

“While Congress has failed to stand up to the greed of the
pharmaceutical industry, the people of California can by supporting this
ballot initiative.”

Bernie Sanders, Democratic Presidential
Candidate, May 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bernie Sanders today became the first presidential candidate of
either major party to endorse the California
Drug Price Relief Act of 2016
, a first-in-the-nation ballot measure
that empowers the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of
Californians, to purchase prescriptions drugs at the lowest rate sold to
the Federal government, saving the state billions of dollars.

Sanders stated: “While Congress has failed to stand up to the greed of
the pharmaceutical industry, the people of California can by supporting
this ballot initiative,” the Vermont senator said.

The endorsement
was announced as California legislators prepare to hold a joint Senate
and Assembly Health committee hearing
on the November ballot measure
this afternoon, at 1:30 pm PT at the State Capitol in Sacramento
(Room 4202).
Proponents of the ballot measure will be available for
media interviews before and after the hearing to speak on both Sanders
endorsement and the California Drug Price Relief Act.

The Drug Price Relief Act would require the state of California to
negotiate with drug companies for drug prices that are no more than is
paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(DVA). Unlike Medicare, the VA negotiates for drug prices on behalf of
the nearly 22 million veterans it serves, and pays on average 20-24
percent less for medications than other government agencies, and up to
40 percent less than Medicare Part D. The Drug Price Relief Act empowers
the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of Californians, to
negotiate the same or an even better deal for taxpayers, saving the
state billions.

In response, the drug industry has launched a campaign of threats,
stating that if the measure passes it will take retribution by seeking
to raise drug prices on veterans and shut off California’s access to
certain prescription drugs. The statutorily required joint legislative
hearing on the measure will be the first public opportunity for
advocates of the measure to confront the drug industry on its
exorbitantly high drug prices and its campaign of threats against
veterans and California taxpayers.

***NOTE TO MEDIA: Deborah Burger, California Nurses Association
Co-President, and David Fitzpatrick, Supply Chain Manager for the
Pharmacy Division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will be available
for media interviews outside of Room 4202 immediately before and the
hearing.

Paid for by Californians for Lower Drug Prices, With Major Funding by
AIDS Healthcare Foundation. FPPC ID#1376791

Contacts

for Californians for Lower Drug Prices
Vince Duffy, 916.281.6886
Vince@DuffyCapitolo.com
or
AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea
Senior Director,
Communications
+1.323.308.1833 work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org