Joe Biden reportedly praised pharmaceutical companies at a private party despite publicly railing against high drug prices

joe bidenDemocratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses a crowd at the Hyatt Park community center on May 4, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina.Getty Images/Sean Rayford

  • Former Vice President and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden privately praised pharmaceutical companies, despite publicly supporting initiatives to cut drug prices.
  • Bloomberg reported that Biden told a gathering of donors at the Dallas home of David Genecov, a craniofacial surgeon, that there are "great drug companies out there - except a couple of opioid outfits."
  • Biden's fellow 2020 hopeful Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at the comment in a statement provided to Business Insider, where he said he disagreed with Biden for praising the companies that are "greedy, corrupt and engaged in price fixing."
  • Biden, Sanders, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren squared off over drug prices at the September 12 Democratic presidential debate.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden privately praised pharmaceutical companies, despite publicly supporting initiatives to cut drug prices.

Bloomberg reported that Biden told a gathering of donors at the Dallas home of David Genecov, a craniofacial surgeon, that there are "great drug companies out there - except a couple of opioid outfits."

Biden's fellow 2020 hopeful Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at the comment in a statement provided to Business Insider, where he said he disagreed with Biden for praising the companies that are "greedy, corrupt and engaged in price fixing."

"At a time when their behavior is literally killing people every day, America needs a president who isn't going to appease and compliment drug companies - we need a president who will take on the pharmaceutical industry - whether they like it or not," Sanders said in the statement. "When we defeat Donald Trump, that's exactly what we are going to do."

The statement came days after Biden, Sanders, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren squared off over drug prices at the September 12 Democratic presidential debate.

Read more: Joe Biden is running for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.

Sanders has advocated introducing restrictions on the power of drug companies to cut costs for patients.He also supports Medicare for all, which Biden has previously criticized for being too expensive.

Biden has instead proposed reforming the Affordable Care Act, which he said at the second Democratic debate in July that it would dictate "that you cannot raise that price beyond the cost of inflation from this point on."

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