One Thing Presidential Candidates Can Agree On

Mar 1, 2016

Prescription drug prices are too expensive.

Seven presidential candidates are still in the race heading into Super Tuesday and all of them are talking about rising prescription drug prices. While they differ in their solutions to this epidemic, candidates on both sides of the aisle agree that drug prices are rising at an unsustainable rate. No matter the outcome of the election, the next president must address the runaway drug prices that are crippling our health care system.

Here’s what the candidates have to say:

Donald Trump

North Charleston, SC on Sep. 23, 2015
On Martin Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who raised prices on a drug more than 5000% overnight: “I thought it was a disgusting thing, what he did. I thought it was a disgrace. […] He ought to be ashamed of himself.”

Marco Rubio

Portsmouth, NH on Oct. 13, 2015
“The reason why they are raising the prices dramatically is because they can. It’s because their argument is ‘we can.’ We can raise prices on this. The market will bear it. People like this drug, they rely on it, and physicians will write it. And because we can, we do. And it’s just pure profiteering.

Ted Cruz

Easley, SC on Feb. 18, 2016
On the need to get competing drugs to market sooner: “The FDA right now, the burdens at the FDA to get a new drug approved, to get a medical device approved, can take years upon years upon years.”

Bernie Sanders

Des Moines, IA on Jan. 26, 2016
“We all know that tomorrow you can walk into a drug store to refill your prescription and the price can be double or triple what it was paid today.”

Hillary Clinton

Reno, NV on Feb. 15, 2016
“And the predatory pricing is a particularly egregious example, where we don’t have the legal authority to do as much as we should. And I’m going to go right after them. And I’m going to use whatever legal authority I have to go after, like, Turing Pharmaceuticals, that really obnoxious guy, Shkreli, who is truly like the worst bad date you can imagine. And what he has done to buy up a company with a necessary drug actually to treat AIDS patients and increase its costs like 5000 percent overnight is outrageous and we’re going to stop that. We’re going to go after Valiant Pharmaceuticals which has done the same thing.”

Ben Carson

Ankeny, IA on Oct. 2, 2015
“As far as Big Pharma is concerned, you know, they are in it to make money and I understand that. But we need some alternative ways because we need to be able to take care of our people. And the same drug that costs $60 for a pill here, you can go to another country and get it for a quarter. You know there is a lot of manipulation going on.”

John Kasich

Reno, NV on Jan. 12, 2016
“I don’t like the fact that we’re doing all the research and development or somebody is and the Europeans are taking advantage of the drugs at low prices and we’re paying the freight. I think that’s a rip-off and I think it ought to be changed.”

Patients cannot afford their prescriptions and prices are only going up.

  • One in four patients (24 percent) have not filled a prescription because of cost.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the public view prescription drug costs as unreasonable.
  • At least seven drugs with yearly sales of more than $1 billion are expected to hit the market this election year.
  • New cancer treatment drugs are routinely introduced with a price tag for patients of more than $100,000 per year.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 Americans don’t take their medications as prescribed because they can’t afford to.