Hillary Clinton calls for $250 monthly cap on prescription drug costs

On Tuesday, US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed a $250 monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and other measures for stopping what she called ‘price gouging’ by pharmaceutical companies.

In Iowa, at a campaign stop, Clinton rolled out an idea to push the development and generic drugs use, and to stop pharmaceutical companies' ability to write off consumer-directed advertising as a business expense.

As a part of Clinton's plan, the monthly cap would put restrictions on what insurance companies could ask patients to pay for drugs used in the treatment of chronic or serious medical conditions.

In Des Moines, she said that they need to protect hard-working Americans from excessive costs, and that mostly these drugs cost a fortune. She added that drug companies keep the profits with themselves and ‘shift the cost to families’.

Clinton made a comment when a report was published in the New York Times regarding how a startup biotechnology company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, hiked the price of the 62-year-old Daraprim drug for a dangerous parasitic infection to $750 a tablet from $13.50 once the company acquired it. She said, “That is bad actors making a fortune off people's misfortune”.

On seeing sharp criticism by patients, medical groups and Clinton on its action, Martin Shkreli, Turing's chief executive officer, told ABC's ‘World News Tonight’ on Tuesday that they will lower down the price of Daraprim ‘to a quite affordable point’. While responding to news of the planned price rollback, Clinton tweeted ‘Good’.

On Tuesday, the Nasdaq Biotechnology index closed down 1.7% after dropping 3.5% during the session. On Monday, it had already fallen 4.4% after Clinton tweeted about her aim to tackle high prices of some drugs.