BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A Maryland congressman is fighting back against the skyrocketing prescription drug costs that could be putting people’s health at risk.

WJZ’s Meghan McCorkell has more on what’s being done.

Retired school teacher Chuck Ridgeway is on a fixed income.

“We have had to take a little job here, a little job there, to try and supplement our income,” said Ridgeway.

But lately, Ridgeway says he’s noticed the cost of his pills rising.

Now Congressman Elijah Cummings is fighting back by creating the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force to help combat price gouging.

“If we can’t take care of Americans when they’re going through illness, if we can’t make sure that they’re not taken advantage of, we need to go home and do something else,” said Rep. Cummings.

In September, one drug company faced fire for raising the price of a drug used by AIDS patients 5,000-percent overnight!

Experts say at least a quarter of all Americans now go without filling at least one prescription because they can’t afford it.

Dr. Peter Beilenson with Evergreen Health says Congress needs to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug companies.

“It’s outrageous that American pharmaceutical companies sell the exact same medications in other countries for half the cost or less,” said Dr. Beilenson.

As for Chuck Ridgeway, he’s counting costs so he can stay healthy.

“Well we have to. That’s part of trying to make your budget balance,” he says.

The Senate has also launched an investigation into four drug companies following significant price increases.

In a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 77-percent of Americans said increasing drug costs is their number one health concern.

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