He accused Valeant Pharmaceuticals of obstructing a congressional investigation into its pricing practices. He called out Biogen (BIIB) 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.