Bernie Sanders has some new allies in fight to bring Canadian drugs to the U.S.

A previous version of this article stated that Tuesday’s bill was the same as one voted on in mid-January. This article has been clarified to reflect that although the two bills both proposed drug importation, they are separate.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke on the campus of Penn State University in State College, Pa., last year.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and others unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada, as a means of bringing down drug prices.

The bill would apply to consumers, licensed U.S. pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers, with fees paid by foreign sellers funding the program. A similar proposal lost a close Senate vote in mid-January.

Cummings said that the issue was a bipartisan one, noting President Donald Trump has said drug companies are “getting away with murder.”

“After he was elected, President Trump said he would bring down drug prices. He also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is ‘getting away with murder,’ and he was absolutely right,” he said. “So, if the President really means what he says, he will support our efforts, and he will encourage his Republican colleagues to do the same.”

The president has brought up drug prices so frequently, Cummings said, that “I’m tempted to introduce the bill as the Donald Trump Affordability Act.”

Related: President Trump says he wants to bring down drug prices — and uses aspirin as an example

Prescription drugs are notoriously cheaper outside of the U.S. Some patients already purchase their medications in other countries, with many heading to Canada last year after the price of Mylan’s MYL, -1.39%  EpiPen allergic reaction treatment spiked.

New allies joined Sanders on the podium Tuesday, including Booker and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), both of whom opposed the January vote.

The legislation’s backers Tuesday emphasized it was a free-market measure. And indeed, it garnered bipartisan support in the January vote.

Read: President Trump’s drug price threats have stopped working since he met with industry

Muscular Dystrophy drug to cost $89,000

(19:46)

Tanya Rivero and Joseph Walker discuss a costly drug-price hike, and Lorraine Toussaint looks at her new show “Rosewood.”

It’s unclear how the White House may respond to the bill. The mid-January vote on a similar importation scheme was voted on before Trump took office.

After a late January meeting with pharmaceutical executives, Trump was seen as having backed away from negotiating drug prices, although he said again after the meeting that he wanted to bring prices down.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s proposed drug importation as one way of bringing prices down, but the policy has not reared its head since.

SPDR S&P Pharmaceutical ETF XPH, -2.13%  has surged 4.5% over the last three months, compared with a 7.4% rise in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.26% VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical PPH, -0.91%  surged 6.6% in the same time.

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