WASHINGTON (WJZ) — There was emotional testimony in Washington on Friday before a Committee led by Congressman Elijah Cummings, investigating the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.
The people on the panel had one thing in common- their lives are depending on drugs they cannot access or can no longer afford.
Sa’ra Skipper and her sister have Type 1 Diabetes. The cost of insulin has tripled, and then their mother lost her job and her coverage.
“Things have started to spiral out of control,” Skipper said. “I was really scared. A few months ago after she lost her job, I was suicidal because I didn’t want to continue to struggle. I didn’t know how my sister and I were going to make it.”
The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Cummings, has been investigating prescription drug costs since January. Montgomery County Congressman Jamie Raskin is also on the committee.
“I wish that all of the media that swarm over this Congress when we conduct oversight into governmental corruption and criminality were here today because this is a crime too,” Raskin said. “This is corruption and this is a nationwide scandal.”
According to the committee, companies have raised prices on more than 3,400 drugs in 2019 alone, with an average price increase of five times the rate of inflation.”
“It’d be one thing if it was going to debilitate you for a minute, but when your life is going to end- as I often say, when you’re dead you’re dead,” Cummings said.
The committee will continue its work when it reconvenes after this recess.
Maryland passed a law establishing a prescription drug affordability board this year to set maximums on the costs of certain prescription drugs.