Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs while also boosting U.S. investment in new drug development and manufacturing.
The affordable drug plan is similar to a bill proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in that it calls on the government to negotiate the cost of drugs for Medicare patients and the government-run "public option." Other Democratic challengers have proposed similar bills.
Buttigieg is currently the mayor of South Bend, Ind.
Buttigieg's plan would cut drug costs by 50 percent; cap out-of-pocket spending to $250 per month; make co-payments for generic drugs $0 for people with low incomes insured by the public plan, Medicare and Medicaid; and guarantee that no one with diabetes dies from having to ration their insulin.
"We are living in a golden age of medical innovation," Buttigieg's campaign said. "Medicines have vastly extended life expectancy for people with Hodgkin's lymphoma and cystic fibrosis, protected us from many viruses and certain cancers and put us within reach of ending the AIDS epidemic for good."
The problem is that the cost of these medicines is out of reach for many Americans.
"While millions of Americans struggle to pay for medicine, pharmaceutical companies are enjoying record profits and remain the most profitable companies in the entire health industry," Buttigieg said. "Families across the country face difficult choices: medicine or child care for my two-year-old? Medicine or making rent on time? Medicine to treat my diabetes or to control my cholesterol."