“In the richest nation in the world, we must not tolerate a health care system that offers the best care to the rich, while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves,” said the Sanders statement. “We must do everything possible to end the greed of the pharmaceutical companies and get people the medicine they need at a price they can afford.”
To this end, the Sanders team proposed creating a “Prize Fund” of more than $3 billion annually that would “incentivize drug development” and “provide virtually universal access to lower-cost life-saving medicines” as they become available.
The plan also seeks to reform patent laws that privilege pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, as president, Sanders would have the secretary of Health and Human Services “negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies and reduce barriers to the importation of lower-cost drugs from Canada and other countries.”
“The United States is the only major country on earth that does not regulate prescription drug prices in some manner,” the plan pointed out, “and the results have been an unmitigated disaster for patients and their families.”
The Sanders plan called for universal health care and the expansion of health services currently in place, including access to mental health care, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS.
Sanders also stressed the need for civil rights protections for LGBT and HIV-positive people, including safeguards against employment and housing discrimination.
“We all must work together so we can finally realize the goal of an AIDS-free generation,” the statement concluded.