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Why Sen. Bernie Sanders claims with new $373K cancer drug Gilead is ‘once again gouging Americans’

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The Brooklyn-born socialist, who challenged Hillary R. Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination all the way to the convention, called out the pharmaceutical company Gilead in an  Oct. 19 statement.

“Gilead, one of the greediest pharmaceutical corporations in the world, is once again gouging Americans dealing with a life-threatening illness,” said Sen. Bernie Sander (I-Vt.), after he learned that the company was charging $373,000 for its cancer drug Yescarta. The drug was developed by Kite, the Santa Monica, California-based Gilead subsidiary.

Sanders said he was further incensed that Gilead would charge so much for a drug developed with financial support from the federal government.

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“This time, Gilead plans to charge an outrageous $373,000 per patient for a life-saving cancer drug developed with taxpayer money,” he said.

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“What good does a breakthrough medication do if no one can afford it? No one in America should die because they cannot afford the cost of the medication they need, yet that is exactly what will happen if we continue to allow Gilead and other pharmaceutical corporations to charge whatever price they want,” he said.

The Vermont senator, who switched his registration from Democrat back to Independent after the 2016 election said President Donald J. Trump needs to get involved.

““The pharmaceutical industry’s greed must end. It’s time for Congress and President Trump – who has spoken often about drugmakers ‘getting away with murder’ – to take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs in America,” he said.

Dr. Arie Belldegrun, the founder of Kite, said the FDA approval of  Yescarta was a landmark for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.

“This approval would not have been possible without the courageous commitment of patients and clinicians, as well as the ongoing dedication of Kite’s employees,” said Belldegrun, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

“We must also recognize the FDA for their ability to embrace and support transformational new technologies that treat life-threatening illnesses,” he said. The company plans to manufacture Yescarta in Kite’s commercial manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California.

Congress

Congress Uses Fake Russia-Taliban Report as Excuse to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Another victory for the war party.

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Democrats are seizing upon a fake news report alleging that Russia has funded Taliban mercenaries to kill U.S. soldiers in order to make it more difficult for troops to be pulled from Afghanistan, thus undermining President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.

The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to make it more difficult for Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan. It would force several certifications to be met before Trump could bring troops home. Republicans in the committee joined the Democrats to undermine Trump with the approval of this National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the neoconservative who supports Bush-era globalism, said the measure “lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what’s required for our own security, not based on political timelines.” It was approved by a 45-11 vote.

The amendment requires an assessment to determine whether or not “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives” before troops can be removed from the country.

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Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) bragged about how the measure will make sure the U.S. does not leave the region and more American lives are put in jeopardy for a war effort that is largely recognized to be a lost cause.

“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal [Trump] got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is the most eloquent voice for an “America First” foreign policy in the House, opposed the measure because of its obvious implications against peace.

“A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said. “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow.

“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”

The defense industry is pushing the Russia bogeyman yet again, in order to create xenophobic outrage and a pretense to keep troops occupying in the region. The Pentagon has reported that Russia is trying to expedite the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but they are painting this news as if it is a bad thing.

“As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries, and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a U.S. military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal,” a report from the Pentagon said.

“Russia has politically supported the Taliban to cultivate influence with the group, limit the Western military presence, and encourage counter ISIS operations, although Russia publicly denies their involvement,” they added.

The political establishment, including the military-industrial complex, is pulling out all the stops to sabotage President Trump and deprive him of achieving his goals before November’s election.

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