Throughout the election season, big Pharma has been a frequent target of Sen. Bernie Sanders. His comment during the Feb. 11 Democratic debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was typical as he rattled off a list of problems with the U.S. healthcare system: “In America, we pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”
The Vermont senator has always believed that healthcare is a human right and should be guaranteed to all Americans regardless of wealth or income. Sanders is now taking his fight to social media where he just brought a greedy pharmaceutical company to its knees with a powerful tweet.
Sen. Sanders’ tweet is being credited for causing shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals’ stock to fall by $400 million on Friday. Sanders linked to a report about the drug company, which raised the price of a leukemia drug four times this year, and within hours the company’s shares dropped 15 percent.
According to Bloomberg, Ariad’s stock price went into freefall after the tweet, losing $400 million in value. The plunge in Ariad’s price marked the single largest intraday decline for the company in more than a year.
Sen. Sanders has also targeted the practice of drug companies cornering the market on patents for life-saving drugs and subsequently jacking up the price to boost profits. In one series of tweets that went viral, Sen. Sanders blasted Mylan Pharmaceuticals, makers of the EpiPen, for dramatically increasing the price of the product most often used by people at risk of suffering fatal allergic reactions.
Sanders believes that the challenges facing the American healthcare system need to be addressed immediately. He supports future legislation to curb drug costs and tackle fraud in the industry. Altogether, universal healthcare serves as a strong foundation for his policy goals.
Sanders prizes the health and wellness of individuals over corporate profits.