Gillibrand unveils plan to lower drug prices

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday unveiled a plan to lower drug prices and increase scrutiny of pharmaceutical companies. 

Gillibrand said in a campaign statement that she would work to penalize and prosecute pharmaceutical companies when necessary, allow safe importation and negotiation of drug prices and create the position of “pharmaceutical czar” to lead audits of the industry’s business practices. 

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“Far too often, hard-working Americans across the country are forced to make the impossible decision between paying for the medication they need, or keeping food on the table,” Gillibrand said in the statement. 

“We need to make sure the healthcare system works for everyone and we will start by actually holding drug companies accountable for their predatory practices and ensuring that people have access to safe and affordable drugs,” she added.

Her plan also includes penalizing drug companies that increase prices without justification, prosecuting companies that knowingly promote more addictive drugs and instructing the Department of Health and Human Services to create guidelines for importing drugs from licensed vendors in Canada.

Gillibrand was earlier joined by health care workers and other activists at a roundtable in Pittsburgh. The stop was part of her “Trump Broken Promises Tour” through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. 

Gillibrand is among the more than two dozen people running for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.