During a campaign stop in Iowa last week, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris promised the heavy hand of government when it comes to setting drug prices, vowing to “snatch” patents from private drug companies if they failed to do her will.
“My plan, as a candidate for president, on these drug prices is as follows: We are going to set drug prices based on fair market,” she said Friday. “So, essentially what we’re going to do … is set drug prices so that American consumers are charged a price for drugs that’s the average price that’s being charged around the globe.”
Harris pointed to the price difference for insulin as an example and argued that if companies don’t want to comply, she will go one step further.
“A lot of drugs, prescription medication, was born out of the federal funding for the research and development of that drug. Your taxpayer dollars,” she said. “So, for any drug where they fail to play by our rules, and if that drug came about from federal funding for what’s called ‘R&D,’ research and development, I will snatch their patent so that we will take over.”
Harris, like Warren, tells her audience about using presidential powers to to make drugs cheaper.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 23, 2019
If they resist: “I will snatch their patent so we can take over.”
Someone in the audience asks “can we do that?”
“Yes, we can do that! We just need the will to do that.” pic.twitter.com/DXT84eTKjQ
While Harris told the crowd her plan is legal, others, such as Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Trump Campaign Rapid Response Director Andrew Clark, informed her it is not.
“Nope. Patents are unequivocally protected in the US Constitution,” Crenshaw wrote on Twitter. “Even if they weren’t, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that stealing people’s property after they make it means THEY WON’T MAKE IT ANYMORE. Fewer drugs, fewer cures. Bad policy.”
Nope.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 23, 2019
Patents are unequivocally protected in the US Constitution.
Even if they weren’t, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that stealing people’s property after they make it means THEY WON’T MAKE IT ANYMORE. Fewer drugs, fewer cures. Bad policy. https://t.co/tCWbd3b5iI
Clark said her defense of this idea is “terrifying.”
“A) No, actually, you cannot do that. B) Also, the government does not (and should not!) manufacture drugs. C) This is terrifying.”
A) No, actually, you cannot do that.— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) November 23, 2019
B) Also, the government does not (and should not!) manufacture drugs.
C) This is terrifying. https://t.co/7J9cmjvlAM