health care

Do you support having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices?

Yes

Yes, supports

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. “The United States should be incentivizing the manufacturing and use of generic drugs, as a part of our overall strategy to increase the drug supply and lower prescription drug costs,” de Blasio told The Post.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices, her campaign told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam told The Post that this proposal “will increase competition for drug manufacturers and lower the cost for consumers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Wayne Messam
Messam

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. The federal government must use every tool available to drastically lower drug prices for Americans,” Sanders told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes; in cases where it makes sense for the federal government to do so — such as when the private sector stops producing a life-saving drug — I would support the government producing certain generic drugs,” Sestak told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “On government-produced drugs, we should have the flexibility in emergencies to do so,” Swalwell told The Post. “For example, insulin is at near-emergency levels of cost and access, with prices skyrocketing and more and more patients suffering ill effects from trying to use less of it. Government should have agility to address this.”

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren introduced legislation that would have the government start manufacturing cheap generic drugs if prescription drug prices rise too high. She laid out her plan, which would have the government contract with a company, at an AARP/Des Moines Register forum in June. “Then we're going to turn around and make it available to the American people at cost-plus,” she said she said. “We do that a few times, and boy, the cost of prescriptions goes down and a whole bunch of drug companies who have been finagling around in the generics market suddenly see that their plan doesn’t work anymore.”

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson told The Post she supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang told The Post he supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, does not support

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“In addition to requiring the federal government to negotiate lower prices, our focus should be on addressing abuses of the patent system,” Bennet told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“No. Instead I will work to lower drug prices and ensure significant penalties of drugmakers who engage in profiteering,” Bullock told The Post.

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg doesn’t support having the government produce or sell generics, his campaign told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney told The Post, “I don’t think that’s the right answer for drug prices.”

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John Delaney
Delaney

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “No, but the government should mandate lower prices for drugs that were developed with public funds,” Hickenlooper told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan doesn’t support having the government produce or sell generics, his campaign told The Post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden’s health-care plan did not say he supports federal drug manufacturing, but it did include a proposal to give drug samples to private generic drug manufacturers. Biden did not provide an answer to this question.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker did not provide an answer to this question.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand did not provide an answer to this question.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not provide an answer to this question.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee did not provide an answer to this question.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke would be open to having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices, he said at an AARP/Des Moines Register forum.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

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Background Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation that, if passed, would have the government manufacture cheap generic drugs if prescription drug costs rise too high.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by March 13. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.