SAN FRANCISCO—Senator Bernie Sanders was in San Francisco on Saturday, October 15 to host a rally in support of Proposition 61.
Proposition 61, also known as the California Drug Price Relief Act, plans to lower prescription drug prices statewide for patients on Medicare by requiring that California negotiate with drug companies for prescription medication that costs no more than the prices paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to proponents. He made the case for Prop 61 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
The VA negotiates drug prices for veterans they serve, with pay on average 20-24 percent less for medication than other government agencies, and up to 40 percent less than Medicare prescription drug coverage. According to proponents, the proposition would save the state billions.
San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim and Assemblyman David Chiu were in attendance at the rally with Sanders. Sanders led Supervisor Kim’s rally. Kim is running for the California State Senate against San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.
The rally was held at Kim’s San Francisco campaign headquarters. Other organizations that support the proposition are California Nurses Associations, AIDS Health Carr Foundation and VoteVets. Representatives of those organizations were also present at the rally.
According to opponents of Proposition 61, they believe that the reduced prices would only apply to a limited number of state drug purchasing programs, while excluding the vast majority of Californians and limit patient access to medicines while increasing taxpayer costs.