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Where They Stand: 2020 Presidential Candidate Views On Prescription Drug Costs


BOSTON (CBS) - Every day, tens of millions of Americans take prescription medications to treat physical and mental issues. Too often, the price of those drugs is beyond what a patient can afford. It's an issue acknowledged by nearly every candidate running for president.

Here is a brief look at where each of the current presidential candidates stand:

Joseph Biden, Jr. (D)
Former Vice President

Biden plans to impose hard caps on prices for drugs manufactured by a single company.
• Plans to allow drug importation from foreign countries, if the government determines they are safe.
• Wants to cap price increases at the rate of inflation.
• Supports allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug makers on prices.

Mike Bloomberg (D)
Former New York Mayor

• Bloomberg plans to ban drug company payments to pharmacy decision makers, forcing drug makers to compete on the cost and value of products
• Wants to work with Congress to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies
• Wants to reform the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit to encourage greater competition, and cap beneficiaries' annual out-of-pocket costs at $2,000.

Pete Buttigieg (D)
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

• Buttigieg wants the Medicare system to have the power to negotiate drug prices.
• He plans to enact a Medicare for All approach so that drugs are available to all.
• Plans cap out-of-pocket prescription drug spending at $250 per month under his Medicare for All Those Who Want it Plan
• Plans to cut out-of-pocket spending for seniors by 50%

Lincoln Chafee (L)
Former Senator from Rhode Island

• Has not made a statement on prescription costs yet, but has previously voted in favor of making prescription drugs more affordable

Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Hawaii Congresswoman

• Gabbard cosponsored legislation to allow importing of prescription drugs from Canada.
• Backed the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow the government to directly negotiate Medicare drug costs with manufacturers.

Amy Klobuchar (D)
Minnesota Senator

• Klobuchar's proposal would allow the government to negotiate Medicare Part D costs.
• Her proposal also allow people to order prescription drugs from other countries.
• Wants to end the practice of "pay-for-delay," where drug makers pay generic manufacturers to delay introducing competing products.

Bernie Sanders (D)
Vermont Senator

• Sanders introduced three bills aimed at slashing high prescription drug costs, including allowing HHS secretary to negotiate with drug companies on Medicare prescription costs.
• Require pharmaceutical manufacturers to lower drug prices to the median price of five developed countries.
• He supports allowing Americans to import drugs from Canada.
• Plans to cap what Americans pay for prescription drugs at $200 a year
• Wants to cut prescription drug prices in half with plan to stick to the median drug price in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan

Tom Steyer (D)
Hedge Fund Manager

• Plans to enable the government to negotiate costs directly with medical providers
• Wants to keep prices low by evaluating cost based on international standards

Donald Trump (R)
President of the United States

• The Trump administration is working toward a system allowing Americans to legally access lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.
• In December, Trump proposed a rule that would allow for importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada
• In 2019, the U.S. saw the largest single drop of prescription drug prices since 1967

Elizabeth Warren (D)
Massachusetts Senator

• Warren proposed a bill to allow the federal government to produce prescription drugs, or contract an outside company, when medications become unaffordable.
• She wants the federal government to start producing insulin, which price has skyrocketed.

William Weld (R)
Former Massachusetts Governor

• Supports Americans being able to buy prescription drugs across international borders

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