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THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - September 24, 2015

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*-- Clinton plan would put $250 limit on patients' co-pay for prescription drugs --*

DES MOINES, Iowa - Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton submitted a proposal Tuesday that would limit the amount certain patients could pay for prescription drugs every month -- reform she's seeking against what she calls pharmaceutical "profiteers."

Clinton detailed the prescription drug cap during an appearance at an Iowa elementary school Tuesday. Her plan would impose the government limit for patients with chronic and serious medical ailments.

"That is not the way the market is supposed to work," she said. "This is bad actors making a fortune off of people's misfortune."

Clinton said pharmaceutical companies setting such expensive prices for critical drugs amounts to nothing more than "a bet on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it."

Clinton's remarks were made as Turing Pharmaceuticals defended a 5,000 percent price increase last month for the drug Daraprim -- medication often used by patients with compromised immune systems, such as with AIDS.

Cost of the drug went from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

"Because the drug was unprofitable at the former price, so any company selling it would be losing money. And at this price it's a reasonable profit. Not excessive at all," Turing CEO Martin Shkreli told CBS News.

Clinton says such practices basically amount to a money grab for greedy pharmaceutical companies who know patients have no choice but to buy the expensive drugs.

Tuesday, though, Shkreli announced that his company would soon lower the cost of Daraprim.

Clinton said her plan would allow Americans to re-import U.S.-made drugs that are sold cheaper in other countries -- and end a tax credit drug-makers get to directly advertise medications to consumers, like the drug ads seen regularly on television.

Critics, though, argue that while Clinton's drug cap would certainly benefit consumers it would also create an offset somewhere -- such as research and development jobs at drug companies.


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