Minnesota lawmakers grapple with rising drug costs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers are trying to get their hands around skyrocketing drug costs and the pharmaceutical industry that sets the prices.

Bills are moving to tackle the problem, from anti-price gouging efforts to new reporting requirements for drug companies when prices spike. Minnesota Public Radio reports that nearly all those bills have been tucked into House and Senate budget bills and are heading into final negotiations.

The bipartisan push has been fueled by personal stories. Nicole Smith-Holt has been a regular around the Capitol, talking about her son Alec Smith, a diabetic who died at age 26 because he was rationing insulin that he couldn't afford.

Both the House and Senate health and human services budgets include assistance for emergency insulin supplies but their different approaches need to be reconciled.

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