Drug Companies Prepare For Their Worst Nightmare: Bernie Sanders Chairing The Senate Health Committee

America’s drug manufacturers are bracing for a grim reality: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, their biggest critic in the U.S. Senate, wielding the gavel on the Senate Health Committee. 

Committee chairmanship will give Sanders the power to call in healthcare executives for aggressive questioning and shed light on alleged price gauging he says is driving prescription drug costs through the roof. 

On Sanders’ radar is publicly grilling executives of drugmakers like Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc., which he alleges has jacked up the price of once-free medication to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sanders has expressed concern that these pricing practices “will cause patients to suffer and die.”

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It’s possible that the threat of bad publicity induces some drug companies to voluntarily lower drug prices before facing the new chairman’s wrath. But there’s a new impetus in the private sector to drive down prices anyway — regardless of what big pharma CEOs decide. 

In early 2022, billionaire angel investor Mark Cuban launched the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, which seeks to take on the $365 billion prescription drug market by offering hundreds of prescription drugs at no more than a 15% markup. For example, Cuban’s startup offers one diabetes treatment for $46.20 whereas retail prices once demanded over $500. 

Another company also could make a dent in America’s healthcare boondoggle in an even more unconventional way by targeting the nationwide stress epidemic. 

Stress is a $300 billion problem in America, according to the American Psychological Association. Inflation, lingering COVID-19 complications and worries over a recession contribute to the stress epidemic. But stress and healthcare costs are closely intertwined, with 65% of households reporting feeling worried about affording treatments. Stress weakens immune systems and puts even more pressure on the healthcare system. One startup is seeking to tackle the problem directly. 

Sensate is a 3-year-old startup that has released a patented relaxation device that uses infrasonic therapy to help the body’s central nervous system recover from stress. The company grew revenue by 363% from 2020 to 2021 and has attracted prominent venture capital backers such as TenOneTen, Unlock Venture Partners and Expert DOJO. 

To learn more about Sensate’s patented technology and see how to invest in this private company for a limited time, click here. 

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