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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Dallas to talk lower drug costs

Pelosi in Dallas
Pablo Arauz Peña
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Colin Allred heard from Dallas County leaders and residents about the impact of the American Rescue Plan at the Dallas County Health and Human Services building on Monday, March 21.

Pelosi joined Rep. Colin Allred at a health care roundtable to discuss legislation to lower drug prices.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs during her visit to Dallas on Monday.

Dallas-area Congressman Colin Allred hosted Speaker Pelosi at a health care roundtable with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Health and Human Services Director Philip Huang, among other local leaders.

Pelosi and Allred heard directly from North Texas residents and frontline workers about the impact of the American Rescue Plan which Congress passed last year. They also spoke about legislation that would help lower drug prices.

“The taxpayer should not have to be paying so much more money for prescription drugs than consumers overseas – three, four or five times more than a consumer overseas,” Pelosi said.

Allred says the legislation is about making sure Texans are not victims of price gouging by pharmaceutical companies.

“We see in some certain areas in the prescription drug arena, that when you don't have a competitor, and you have the ability to raise costs, or whatever level you want, that you will, and so that's what we're trying to combat,” Allred said.

Pelosi says she’s working on legislation with Allred that will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices which would bring costs down for more Americans.

“This is right on the kitchen table of every family in America. I have seen grown men cry as I have gone around the country and listened to what the priorities are to the America people – ‘How are we going to pay for the prescription drugs?’”

Pelosi says she hopes to pass that legislation before funding from the American Rescue Plan runs out in September.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Collin Allred are working on legislation that would allow Americans to negotiate drug prices. The legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.