Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will unveil a plan to rein in prescription drug costs by forcing pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research and allowing for more generic and imported drugs.
The proposal, which Hillary Clinton will outline in a speech in Iowa on September 22, would also allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan sent out by her campaign team.
On September 21, Hillary Clinton sent out a tweet referencing a New York Times article about Daraprim, a drug to treat toxoplasmosis that increased in price overnight from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
“Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on,” Hillary Clinton said.
US pharmaceuticals companies charge Americans thousands of dollars for new drugs that are often priced lower in other developed nations while receiving billions of taxpayer dollars for basic research, according to the campaign.
The prescription drug plan is part of a broader focus on health care this week.
On September 23, Hillary Clinton will outline a separate set of proposals to address other out-of-pocket health costs that patients face.
According to the campaign, Hillary Clinton’s plan will propose to:
- Deny tax breaks for consumer advertising and demand that drug companies instead invest US taxpayer dollars in research and development. Many companies benefit from corporate write-offs for advertising aimed specifically at consumers. Companies that receive federal funds would be required to reinvest a certain amount in research.
- Encourage the production of generic drugs including lowering the amount of time companies can exclusively produce new treatments.
- Cap what insurers can charge consumers with chronic or serious health conditions in out-of-pocket costs. Health insurance plans would place a monthly limit of $250 on out-of-pocket costs for such patients.
- Allow Americans to import drugs from abroad. Countries in Europe with similar safety standards often pay half of what American pay for the same drugs, according to the campaign.
- Allow Medicare to negotiate drug and biologic prices, especially for high-cost drugs with limited competition.