Clinton offers plan to prevent ‘excessive’ drug price hikes

Clinton offers plan to prevent ‘excessive’ drug price hikes

Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton presented a plan to prevent “unjustified” price hikes on medications that are vital for treating certain illnesses, as occurred recently with a medicine for treating allergies.

Clinton on Friday proposed creating a group of federal watchdog agencies that would track the prices of certain medications and would impose fines for excessive hikes and rampant speculation, EFE news reported.

Clinton’s proposal comes on the heels of widespread anger over the rising price of EpiPen, an emergency allergy and asthma treatment injector made by the Mylan pharmaceutical firm, which links bonuses for its directors to profit increases.

Mylan has a virtual monopoly on the sale of this injector and, since a new incentive plan was introduced for its directors, the price of the EpiPen has skyrocketed from under $400 to more than $600.

In response to critics, Mylan has announced plans to make the EpiPen more affordable to low-income patients with a cheaper generic version.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen far too many examples of drug companies raising prices excessively for long-standing, life-saving treatments with little or no new innovation or R and D,” Clinton said in a statement.

The presidential candidate’s plan will form part of a wider initiative to reduce the medication prices and includes making generic alternatives available to important life-saving drugs with little or no competition on the market, while boosting competition within the pharmaceutical sector in general.

Clinton cited other examples of price gouging in the sector, such as the over 5,000-per cent price increase for its AIDS drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) by Turing Pharmaceuticals.

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