October 16 2015
The left-leaning U.S. presidential candidate turned down money from the man who raised the price of HIV drugs by almost 5,000 percent.
The left-leaning U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rejected a campaign donation from the head of Turing Pharmaceuticals firm, because he increased the price of a drug for HIV and cancer patients by almost 5,000 percent, according to a Thursday report by RT.
Sanders has repeatedly slammed the medications industry for being too greedy.
The donation came to Sanders’ campaign in form of an individual contribution from Martin Shkreli, head of Turing, who had repeatedly announced on social media his plans to grant the socialist presidential hopeful.
”He is the poster boy for pharmaceutical company greed,” Sanders spokesperson Michael Briggs told Mashable. “We don’t want his stinking money.”
The pharmaceutical executive said he would donate the maximum individual contribution of US$2,700.
On Thursday, Shkreli told State News that he had made the donation, but Sanders has repeatedly declared he doesn’t accept contributions of that nature.
Corrupt political system
“Our political system is corrupt. Big Money controls much of what happens,” said Sanders, according to State News.
Sanders’ campaign spokesperson, Michael Briggs, announced the senator would reject the donation and instead send the contribution to the Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington, D.C.
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RT reported that Shkreli became “evidently angry” after being informed that Sanders had rejected his donation.
“I think it’s cheap to use one person’s action as a platform without kind of talking to that person …He’ll take my money, but he won’t engage with me for five minutes to understand this issue better,” he said, while explaining, “Right now the rule of law in the United States is that drug companies can price their products wherever they see fit, not wherever he sees fit.”
Sanders has repeatedly harshly criticized “the greed” of the pharmaceutical industry and called it a “public health hazard” for the U.S.
The presidential candidate proposed importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. He also called upon Medicare, the U.S. national social insurance program, to introduce lower drug prices.
Hillary Clinton’s main rival has also slammed the government for issues such as income inequality, poor healthcare, climate change and mass surveillance.