“I cannot think of another situation where the government-use provision [of the law that allows the VA to break the patents] should be applied,” Sanders wrote in a letter to Robert McDonald, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary. “Our nation’s veterans cannot, and should not, be denied treatment while drug companies rake in billions of dollars in profits.”
May 12, 2015 - The ongoing debate over the cost of prescription drugs took another twist as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) has asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to use emergency powers to break – or override – the patents on high-priced hepatitis C medicines sold by several drug makers, including Gilead Sciences
The new hepatitis C treatments cure more than 90% of those infected and, in the U.S., cost from $63,000 to $94,500, depending upon the drug and regimen, before any discounts. Gilead markets Sovaldi and Harvoni, while AbbVie ABBV sells Viekera Pak.
The prices have caused a firestorm as both public and private payers complain the treatments are straining their budgets. Sanders notes the VA stopped enrolling veterans who need treatment for hepatitis C due to budget constraints. The agency has already reallocated $400 million on hepatitis C drugs, but needs additional funding. read more>>>
“With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11"
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, nor the continued blowback from the spread and growth from the policies implemented!
Neither the long term results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, Veterans issues from!
As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded for decades and the wars from now, VA budget is still borrowed, with interest, thus added problem creating costs, with representative who control the purse strings blaming the mostly dedicated VA personal within, that shouldn't exist!