Rand Paul makes Senate campaign stops in northern Kentucky; promises hearing in Kentucky on high cost of EpiPen

09/23/2016 01:59 PM

NEWPORT – U.S. Senator Rand Paul told a crowd of supporters in northern Kentucky on Friday that he is in the process of organizing a hearing in the state, regarding the high cost of EpiPen, used to treat severe allergic reactions, and tetracycline, a medication used to treat acne.

The cost of EpiPen, has risen from less than $100 in 2007 for a two-pen set, to its current price of approximately $640.00.

Tetracycline has seen its costs increase as much as 7,000 percent.

On Wednesday, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, whose company manufactures EpiPen, defended the price increase before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, telling congressional members after fees and expenses, Mylan makes about $100 profit per set of EpiPen.

Paul, says that the high cost of the drugs is about a failure of government because when there is no competition, the prices will skyrocket.

“I think the government created the problem in the EpiPen,” Paul said. “The generic applied 7 years ago, and I’m going to have a hearing in Kentucky in the next couple of weeks on this very issue.”

“We’re going to bring the FDA to Kentucky, we’re going to talk to pharmacists, and people who have been affected by the prices, and we’re going to ask why the government couldn’t do a better job at allowing competition.”

In his remarks, Paul warned his supporters to not blame capitalism for the high cost of some medications.

Instead, Paul says to blame it on political cronyism.

“We do misplace our anger, but my fear of the misplaced anger is that we’re criticizing a system that’s made us wealthy,” Paul said. “Cronyism is what you’re seeing.”

Paul also addressed several other topics including his opposition to the $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted to kill legislation, supported by Paul, which would have halted the sale.

“You know, the Constitution was very clear,” Paul said. “If you’re going to go to war, Congress needs to vote on it, the people need to be involved in the debate, it needs to be out in a public forum, yet, we’ve been at war in Yemen, supplying bombs, refueling Saudi planes, and supplying them with weapons over a year, and yet, there’s been no debate.”

Another topic addressed by Paul was U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s stopgap spending bill which the majority leader unveiled on Thursday.

The legislation provides more than $1 billion to battle the Zika virus, as well as $500 million to help Louisiana rebuild from last month’s devastating floods.

One thing absent, which angered Democrats, was $220 million to help Flint, Michigan and other cities with lead emergencies replace pipes and take steps to clean their water supply.

“I don’t like the idea of putting all of the spending bills together in one bill,” Paul said. “We don’t get to individually look at appropriations, there’s no amendments allowed on the floor, so my preference would be to have individual appropriation bills, and make individual decisions on this.”

Paul faces Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Lexington Mayor Jim Gray on Nov. 8.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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