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Rep. DeLauro To Take On Prescription Drug Pricing

Conn. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Ranking member Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., questions Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a House Committee on Appropriation subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in March.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut said she will champion legislation to lower prescription drug prices when Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January. The New Haven Democrat made the promise on Monday.

In January DeLauro will chair the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on basic biomedical research. Speaking in West Haven she said she’ll use her new power to fight to lower the high cost of prescription drugs by bringing greater transparency and requiring drug companies to justify their exorbitant price increases.

“In Switzerland a patient pays $800 for Humira, a treatment for arthritis and psoriasis. In the United States its $2,600.”

She said the exorbitant prices are not only for new cutting edge drugs.

“Insulin has existed for 100 years, yet in the last decade its price has tripled.”

DeLauro blamed the inflated prices on drug manufacturers being allowed to charge whatever they want. She said that’s why she will be taking legislative action to get more transparency in drug pricing.

“Shining a light into what is a black box of drug prices, so as a consumer you know what you are paying for.”

DeLauro said this pressure on the drug industry is necessary even if similar legislation does not make it through the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.