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U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings Honored for Commitment to Changing the World for People Living with Multiple Sclerosis

March 1, 2018

The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society has named U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland’s 7th District as its 2017 U.S. Representative of the Year. 

Rep. Cummings is a long-time advocate for fair prescription drug pricing. As a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he has led the drive within Congress to enhance transparency and clarity on MS-drug prices, bringing together a bipartisan group of legislators to request a briefing on the topic from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. He has also co-sponsored the Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act, which would require drug manufacturers to file a report with the Department of Health and Human Services when they increase the price of their drugs beyond a certain threshold.

In his more than two decades as a Representative, Rep. Cummings has also been a steadfast supporter of medical research, joining the National MS Society to advocate for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the MS Research Program (MSRP).

“Representative Cummings has long recognized the importance of accessible, affordable healthcare for people living with MS,” said National MS Society President and CEO Cyndi Zagieboylo. “His efforts to shed light on pharmaceutical company practices, and to ensure fair pricing for the medications that are so critical in helping to restore what has been lost to the disease, are invaluable in our mission to end MS.”

“I am truly honored to receive this award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and I am so grateful for their leadership in working to improve the lives of those with this disease,” Rep. Elijah Cummings said. “I’ve worked to hold pharmaceutical companies selling drugs used to treat MS accountable for increasing their prices unjustly. I believe no American should be forced to struggle to afford life-changing medical treatments, especially when drug companies increase prices without warning, cause, or justification. Together we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by this disease and it is imperative we each commit to doing our part in the fight.”

The National MS Society presented Rep. Cummings with the U.S. Representative of the Year award during its 27th annual Public Policy Conference, held March 5-7, where more than 300 MS activists from across the country joined together in Washington, D.C. to educate elected officials about the needs of people living with MS. Nominations for the honor are open to the public. Awardees are chosen by the National MS Society Board of Directors.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.