Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has refused to support the 21st Century Cures Act / Randy Bayne

A whirlwind week for the 21st Century Cures Act will all come down to that all-important vote in the US House of Representatives later today. As Congress races to finalise the Act, Bernie Sanders has become the latest Democrat Senator to attack the legislation, branding it a “bad bill, which should not be passed in its current form.”

“At a time when Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, this bill provides absolutely no relief for soaring drug prices,” Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The greed of the pharmaceutical industry has no limit, and this bill includes numerous corporate giveaways that will make drug companies even richer… It’s time for Congress to stand up to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, not give them more handouts.”

Sanders’ comments come hot on the heels of strong words from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who argued that the bill had been “hijacked” by the pharmaceutical industry, and that she would not vote for it to pass in the House. 

The 21st Century Cures Act would give $1 billion to tackle the opioid crisis, plus $4.8 billion for continuing three key Obama administration research programs over the next three years – the Cancer Moonshot, the Precision Medicine Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative.