Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaking at a federal contract workers rally to celebrate Andrew Puzder's decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of labor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 16, 2017. Reuters

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced new legislation Tuesday that will effectively lower the price Americans pay for prescription drugs by providing citizens the ability to import low-cost alternatives from Canada. The bill was accompanied by a piece of companion legislation introduced in the House by Reps. Elijah E. Cumming, D-Md, and Lloyd Doggett, D-Tx.

Sanders’ legislation opens the flood gates for international competition in the U.S. drug market. In Canada – as well as most other advanced nations which regulate drug prices – costs for the same exact medicines are dramatically less than national prices. The bill, titled the "Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act," will provide sharply lower costs to nearly one in five American adults previously unable to afford prescribed medicines.

The bill will initially allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to regulate Canadian prescription medicine imports, opening the possibility for Americans to purchase drugs from other nations after a two-year period.

In introducing the bill, Sanders sent a defiant message to President Donald Trump: support his new drug price legislation, or face accusations of lying to the American public about his goals in the White House.

"I say to President Trump: Talk is cheap," Sanders said in a statement emailed to International Business Times Tuesday afternoon. "If you really have the guts to take on the pharmaceutical industry, tell your Republican friends in the House and the Senate to pass this legislation. Do it tonight in your address to Congress. Or admit to the American people that you were lying to them during the campaign."

Cummings also said he was hopeful Trump would support the joint-pieces of legislation allowing for international competition in the prescription drug market, noting promises he’s made since entering office.

"After he was elected, President Trump said he would bring down drug prices," Cummings said. "He also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is ‘getting away with murder,’ and he was absolutely right, 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."