Kamala Harris’ stance on Big Pharma: 5 things to know

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democractic nominee for president, named Sen. Kamala Harris of California his vice presidential pick Aug. 11. 

Five things to know about Ms. Harris’ past statements and plans related to the pharmaceutical industry: 

  1. When she was a 2020 candidate for president, Ms. Harris released a plan that included using an international price index to lower pharmaceutical costs in the U.S. The plan would allow the U.S. government to set lower prices on all prescription drugs and boost competing alternatives, according to Vox. Her plan would also prevent drug companies from using advertising expenses as tax write-offs
  2. Early on in her presidential campaign, Ms. Harris tweeted: “Big pharmaceutical companies have unleashed an opioid crisis from the California coast to the mountains of West Virginia. Once and for all, we must call drug addiction what it is: a national public health emergency.”
  3. In Feb. 2019, Ms. Harris introduced a bill to prevent large drug price hikes, called the FLAT Prices Act, which would shorten drugmakers’ monopoly periods and bring generic drugs to the market sooner.

    “No one should be forced to forgo lifesaving medication because they can’t afford it. It’s unconscionable that drug companies jack up prices on medications when there are no affordable alternatives for patients to turn to. This is an abuse of our patent system, and it needs to stop,” Ms. Harris said. 

  4. During an October  Democratic presidential debate, Ms. Harris called big pharmaceutical companies involved in the opioid crisis “high-level dope dealers.”
  5. In 2016, Ms. Harris filed a lawsuit against Chesterfield, Va.-based drugmaker, Indivior, alleging that it, along with MonoSolRX, an Indiana-based pharmaceutical film technology company, engaged in a scheme to block competition to Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment.

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