The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is holding a hearing to investigate rising drug prices. Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent letters to 12 drug companies as part of the committee’s investigation. According to a committee press release, 94%  of brand name drugs more than doubled in price between 2005 and 2017. The chairman expressed his concerns over the unsustainable rise in prices,

“This is a matter literally of life and death and we have a duty to act now” Cummings said.

Antroinette Worsham, a mother of two insulin-dependent daughters, delivered personal testimony to the committee. Unfortunately Worsham lost her oldest daughter, Antavia, to Type 1 Diabetes. Antavia was rationing her insulin because of the high prices. Worsham fought through tears to deliver a strong message to lawmakers . She is now concerned that her eldest daughter, who also suffers from Type 1 diabetes, will lose coverage as she gets older and will have to ration her insulin.

Further, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointed to market exclusivity as a leading problem. Many companies obtain patents to drive out competition. This is exactly what happened with the Mylan, the drug maker for EpiPen.

EpiPen delivers life saving emergency treatment during allergic reactions. However, Mylan had a monopoly over the market and drove costs from $100 to $600, according to reports. Patients were at a loss and some even bought the drug from Canadian manufacturers. Finally the FDA decided to mitigate the issue by approving a generic version of the drug.

The House Oversight Committee hearing could potentially save lives. The rising cost of drugs is empowering Americans to purchase from outside markets including the black market.

To watch the hearing follow the link below: