Hillary Clinton Proposes Drugmakers Fund Their Own Generic Competition

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at Case Western Reserve University on Aug. 27, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photographer: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Drugmakers would fund their generic competitors under a proposal by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton designed to curb consumers’ medication costs by redistributing profits from high-priced drugs.

Under the plan, the government would gather money from drug companies that don’t hit a minimum threshold on research spending. The resulting public fund would then provide grants to generics makers to make low-cost versions when none are available on the market, a campaign spokesman, Jesse Ferguson, said in an e-mail.

“A new idea to chew on - let’s explore using some of these new research funds to invest directly in producing generic competitors where none exists," Clinton wrote on Facebook in a question-and-answer session.

The presidential candidate caused biotech shares to slide last week when she called out Turing Pharmaceuticals AG on Twitter for raising the price of an old drug to $750 a pill from $13.50 a pill after acquiring it. Turing has since said it will lower the price, though it defended the increase. Clinton followed up her tweet with a plan to cap consumer costs and mandate research spending. Industry organizations representing pharmaceutical companies say her plan would stifle innovation.