Cory Booker and 12 Other Dems Just Stopped Bernie Sanders’ Amendment to Lower Prescription Drug Costs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Just recently, Senator Sanders proposed an amendment to the 21st Century Century Cures Act to lower drug costs and allow for the import of cheaper drugs from other countries. However, that failed thanks to Republican opposition, and so he tried again, this time attaching a similar amendment to a concurrent budget resolution for the fiscal year of 2017, to allow importing of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.


As a Reddit user, gideonvwainwright, pointed out, that amendment failed despite having the support of 12 Republicans including both Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) because of the 'Nay' votes of thirteen Democrats—one of whom was Senator Booker.


Between 2010 and 2016, a handful of the Democratic senators who voted “nay” were amongst the top Senate recipients funded by pharmaceutical companies: Sen. Booker received $267,338; Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) received $254,649; Robert Casey (D-PA) received $250,730; Michael Bennet (D-CO) received $222,000. As the former mayor of Newark, Cory Booker faced corruption scandals and increased crime and unemployment levels as his star power outside the state rose. He is heavily favored by Wall Street, with securities and investment firms donating $1.88 million to Booker during the 2014 midterm elections; their second-favorite candidate was Mitch McConnell.


In response to the growing outcry against his actions, Senator Booker tweeted the following: “Please know, a number of dems who voted no last night AGREE WE MUST IMPORT. But we believe basic FDA standards must be met.”


What he fails to mention is that Canada’s drug approval process is similar to our own in that it first requires various animal testing, and then rounds of clinical trials before a drug can enter circulation. What differences there are hardly seem to matter given that Canada’s average life expectancy is two years longer than the United States’ according to the World Bank. In addition, the word “safe” already appears in the Sanders amendment when related to the importation of drugs. This excuse seems like a cynical effort to divert responsibility for a bad call.


Further Reading:

  • “How to Alleviate High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the U.S.”;
  • “Federal Judge Strikes Down Maine Drug Re-Importation Law: Is It a Victory for Patients or for Pharma?”;