ANNAPOLIS (WJZ)– There’s a drive to bring down the cost of prescription drugs and Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings is in the center of it.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports, there’s a bill to allow Americans to import safe, low cost drugs from other countries.
Cummings and other congressional lawmakers want to introduce competition in the prescription pricing market.
Cummings is front and center with Bernie Sanders and others supporting a plan to drive down prescription prices by opening the market to other countries.
“When you’re talking about somebody’s health and whether or not they can get the chemo they need for breast cancer or prostate cancer or whatever and that’s the key. We’ve got to say as Americans we need to take care of each other,” says Cummings.
The soaring price of EpiPens became national news as an example of what families are facing.
“My son was diagnosed when he was 4 months old with food allergies so he needs an EpiPen,” Usanne Schlatman says.
President Trump has said he’ll bring prices down in a meeting with drug industry leaders.
“U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical,” Trump says.
“He also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is quote- getting away with murder. End of quote. When I met with him briefly during his inauguration he said the same thing again. Words are nice but people need relief,” Cummings says.
The Drug Importation Bill is one of what is likely to be a number of proposals for providing that relief.
The bill includes detailed provisions outlining safeguards and consumer protections that ensure the safety of imported drugs.
In Maryland, the General Assembly is considering bills to require drug companies to explain their price hikes and give the attorney general the power to challenge them.