One of the main reasons Bernie Sanders garnered so much support from Millennial voters when he was in the race to become the next President of the U.S. is that he isn’t afraid to point out pharmaceutical greed.
It began earlier this year when the Vermont Senator tried to block the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf, whom President Obama appointed to head the FDA, due to his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Sanders also infamously refused a donation from ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who acquired the rights to a life-saving drug used to treat AIDS and hiked the price up by 5,000%.
As you may remember, Sanders’ campaign rejected a $2,700 check from Shkreli and instead gave it to the Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington.
A spokesperson for the campaign said,
“We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed.”
Unsurprisingly, this infuriated Shkreli who desired a meeting with Sanders to explain why drug companies operate the way they do. The request was never met, and a humorous Twitter exchange was all that ensued.
Shkreli might maintain that hiking drug prices is essential to invest in further drug research, but Sanders is of the opinion that a populace that is suffering should be the first priority. He made this clear when, recently, Mylan Pharmaceuticals increased the price of the EpiPen – a life-saving antihistamine injection – to $600.
“Mylan has raised prices more than 20% on 24 medications, and more than 100% on seven medications,” Sanders tweeted. “The quality of Mylan’s drugs isn’t improving, but the company thinks it is acceptable to quadruple their prices.”
The Senator’s messages have been well-received by a populace that is suffering due to inflation of pharmaceutical drug prices. And, thanks to his activism, another pharmaceutical company was brought to its knees recently.
According to USUncut, Ariad Pharmaceuticals experienced a massive decline in its stock price after Sanders called out the company’s greedy practices. Sanders mentioned an article showing that Ariad dramatically increased the price of Inclusig – a life-saving drug used to treat leukemia – to nearly $200,000 per year.
Drug corporations' greed is unbelievable. Ariad has raised the price of a leukemia drug to almost $199,000 a year. https://t.co/EB4nEPxP2G
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 14, 2016
After the Tweet, the company’s stock went into a freefall, losing $387 million in value. Bloomberg reports that this decline in Ariad’s price marks the single largest intraday decline for the company in more than a year. How’s that for karma?
Thanks to Sanders, the issue of pharmaceutical companies needlessly hiking up prices of life-saving drugs is becoming more of a forefront issue. Let’s just hope one of the primary U.S. candidates chooses to do something about it when they are elected into office.