Rep. Elijah Cummings Has Been A Thorn In Pharma’s Side For Years. Now He’s Poised To Take Over Powerful Oversight Committee.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is expected to take up the gavel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which will give him authority to haul drugmakers in front of Congress to question them on high prices. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are already getting nervous about a potentially relationship between House Democrats and President Donald Trump over the issue.
Elijah Cummings Sparred With Martin Shkreli And Mylan’s CEO. Now He’s Got A Gavel To Take On Pharma
He accused Valeant Pharmaceuticals of obstructing a congressional investigation into its pricing practices. He called out Biogen for charging so much for a multiple sclerosis drug that the government holds a patent on. And he famously scolded a smirking Martin Shkreli during a hearing, saying, “It’s not funny, Mr. Shkreli. People are dying.” For years, Elijah Cummings has been a persistent, if forceless, thorn in the pharmaceutical industry’s side. Now, though, Congress’ pharma critic-in-chief will be armed with the authority of a powerful committee chairmanship at a time when lawmakers in both parties are squeezing drug companies more than ever before. (Joseph, 11/9)
Dem Overtures To Trump On Drug Pricing Worry Pharma
The Democratic takeover of the House is giving new life to efforts to fight high drug prices with bipartisan action, a worrying prospect for the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a top priority for House Democrats, who now have powers to press the issue and put the drug industry on the hot seat. It’s also an issue where Democrats believe there is potential to reach a deal with President Trump. (Sullivan, 11/8)