Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, December 18, would combat the rising costs of generic drugs by creating a public option for drug manufacturing. Cosponsored by Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives, the bill, called the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act, would create a manufacturing unit within the federal Department of Health and Human Services to mass produce generic drugs in order to bring down prices and introduce competition into the pharmaceutical industry oligopoly.
Warren is not the only Democratic senator taking on the drug companies and finding ways to reduce drug prices. Recently in December, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal alongside Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced the Cure High Drug Prices Act, which would allow the federal government to restrict price increases on certain lifesaving drugs.
In November, Senator Merkley introduced his own bill to combat rising drug costs with the proposed Low Drug Prices Act, which would allow the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to assure that citizens do not pay more than the median price per drug. Also in November, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and California Congressman Ro Khanna proposed another bill to address rising drug prices with the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, which would break up drug company oligopolies and allow newer generic drug companies to compete in the markets.