The Latest: Bredesen backs drug price negotiation idea

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen is backing a plan for the federal government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

Bredesen told a room of business leaders in Nashville on Tuesday that he thinks President Donald Trump should negotiate terms with drug companies that would ensure they are charging the U.S. the same prices as other countries.

He cited drug prices in the U.S. that far exceed ones in other industrialized counties.

Bredesen said the idea falls in line with Trump’s “America First” mantra because negotiations would be needed with some major international drug companies.

Bredesen’s campaign says the idea would require repealing a law that prevents the federal government from negotiating drug prices for Medicare Part D. He adds he’s willing to meet with Trump to discuss the idea.


12 p.m.

Candidate campaigns and outside interest groups have spent more than $51 million combined so far in Tennessee’s contentious, open contest for U.S. Senate.

According to federal campaign finance disclosures through September, Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign has spent $11.7 million. Outside groups supporting him have spent about $13 million.

Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s campaign has shelled out about $9 million. Pro-Blackburn outside groups have spent about $17.6 million.

From mid-July through September, Bredesen raised $4.3 million, spent $6 million and loaned his campaign another $2 million, bringing his total personal loans to about $5.5 million. He entered October with $3.2 million cash remaining.

In that timeframe, Blackburn raised almost $2.7 million, transferred $750,500 raised through related committees and spent $5.6 million. She ended September with $5 million cash left.

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