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.

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  • Cummings sure has his work cut out for him. Going up against politicians who have been bought and paid for by pharma, and an administration so obviously corrupt, won’t be easy. What is so very disturbing is the media coverage, is designed to protect the pharma criminals. The American public knows there is something really wrong here, but so many media outlets, are misleading the public. Of course it would be a lot easier to tame the industry and bring down drug prices, if we had Universal or Single Payer healthcare. As long as this continues people will watch friends neighbors and family members suffer, as the mass media works to normalize and protect the greed, and profiteering of the industries benefiting form the misinformation. All of this is the result of Market Based healthcare, the deaths and adverse events observed daily are never reported to the public. Even the opiate epidemic is a marketing and profiteering opportunity, normalized by mass media for over a decade. That should have been a wake up call. No one discusses how the marketing led to this public health disaster.

    Americans are inundated with pharma propaganda, every ridiculous misleading TV ad, serves several purposes. There was a reason these ads used to be illegal. Now we have TV networks totally dependent on pharma marketing, that peddle pseudo science, misinformation, and elective surgeries as filler for pharma ads.

  • I believe that what is forgotten in all of this, is that ultimately, if you try to force Pharma and Health Care to bow to your “price controlling” (i.e… here is what you should charge for a Dr.’s visit or for your meds),then both Health Care and Pharma will (rightly) give the US government the “middle finger” and just say…”You want that, well we will just go play somewhere else”….. Hide and watch.

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