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Bernie Sanders campaigns for Prop. 61 in California

Ballot measures

Bernie Sanders campaigns for Prop. 61 in California

Sen. Bernie Sanders urges a crowd in Los Angeles to support Proposition 61, a ballot measure on prescription drug pricing. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Sen. Bernie Sanders urges a crowd in Los Angeles to support Proposition 61, a ballot measure on prescription drug pricing. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held rallies in Los Angeles and Sacramento on Monday to urge voters to support Proposition 61, the California pharmaceutical drug-pricing initiative.

Hundreds turned out to see the former Democratic presidential candidate criticize drug companies and encourage supporters to combat the influence of money in politics.

Proposition 61 would limit state government spending on prescription drugs to the prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Because the VA typically negotiates the lowest prices for prescription drugs of any public or private entity, the measure’s supporters say they hope to curb rising drug costs paid by the state.

Sanders started the day at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, where he addressed a crowd of about 200.

About 200 people attend the Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
About 200 people attend the Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Later, he held a second rally outside the Capitol in Sacramento.

Proposition 61 is the most expensive of the 17 measures on Tuesday's ballot. Pharmaceutical companies have contributed more than $109 million to oppose it. Supporters of the measure have contributed $18.5 million.

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