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Ellison plans to target drug prices as attorney general

January 3, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Keith Ellison says prescription drug prices, student debt and housing costs will be among his top priorities when he’s sworn in next week as Minnesota’s attorney general.

Ellison told Minnesota Public Radio that the community listening sessions he’s already held in Duluth and Albert Lea, and one planned for Thursday night in Minneapolis, are giving him insights into how best to approach those issues.

But he said his list of priorities will be flexible, according to the needs of the community.

“What we want to do is be very sensitive to what people are going through as we calibrate our focal point and our priorities,” he said.

Ellison said he plans to create a task force to explore how to address high drug prices. He said he also plans to continue outgoing Attorney General Lori Swanson’s lawsuit against drug manufacturers over insulin prices.

“The goal is affordable drug prices. So, whether you need some sort of investigation or negotiation or what, I’m clear on what we’re actually trying to achieve, which is affordable drug prices,” he said.

Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress, and was elected deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 election. He gave up his congressional seat and party post to be attorney general.

Swanson, who is leaving after 12 years in office, said she is confident that Ellison will continue the attorney general’s traditional role of consumer protection.

“There’s not many people out there who are really looking out for the interest of the little guy and the consumer. Attorney General Ellison has that interest and has that passion and has that desire to help people and help regular folks get on with their lives,” she said.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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