Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks out in support of Prop. 61 in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke in Hollywood last night in support of Proposition 61, which aims to lower the price of prescription drug medication.

At the "Yes on 61" rally at the American Federation of Musicians Hall, Sen. Sanders was joined onstage by other Prop. 61 supporters, including the California Nurses Association and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

"We will not continue to pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," proclaimed Sanders.

"The reality today is that the pharmaceutical industry has become a major health hazard to the American people," he added.

Prop. 61 would allow California to negotiate drug prices similar to those paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Supporters say it would lower drug prices and give more people access to potentially life-saving medication.

Nurse and Glendale resident, Diane Acosta said, "When they don't have access to those, they get into all kinds of physical problems and they end up being admitted for things that very easily could have been prevented if they had the medication."

Although the rally drew hundreds of supporters, several opponents stood outside.

Jason Levin, of the Long Angeles County Young Democrats, said if passed the measure could end up raising drug costs for some.

"There are unanswered questions about how this would impact drug prices," said Levin. "Simply put, we should not be tackling complex issues like medical pricing through the ballot initiative process."

Despite this claim, Sanders said he is confident that the measure is getting to the pharmaceutical industry.

"The reason that they're nervous is that they understand that if we win in California, other states will be following very, very quickly," said Sanders.

Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.