Powerful Democrat, Republican Find Common Ground With Bill To Force Drug Companies To Play By Medicaid’s Rules
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will be the top Republican and Democrat on the influential Senate Finance Committee next year. Their bipartisan bill would give HHS more power to recoup the full amount lost if companies misclassify their drugs under the Medicaid program. Experts watching Congress have predicted that drug prices might be a problem where the parties will work together.
Bipartisan Senators Introduce New Drug Pricing Bill
A bill introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will seek to crack down on the tactics used by drug companies like Mylan to overcharge taxpayers for Medicaid rebates. The bipartisan bill from the incoming chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee could be a sign the two will seek common ground on drug prices. (Weixel, 12/4)
Bipartisan Drug Pricing Bill Hints At Next Steps For Senate Finance Panel
It’s the first sign of how the duo, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) intends to use their respective perches at the Senate Finance Committee to lower drug prices. Grassley will chair the committee beginning in January, and Wyden is already its top Democrat. The committee has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid, including oversight of most of the Trump administration’s work to date on the issue of drug prices. The bill itself was motivated by allegations that the drug company Mylan misclassified its signature epinephrine auto-injector, EpiPen, under the Medicaid program, which resulted in taxpayers spending more money than they should have whenever a Medicaid recipient purchased the product. In August, Mylan settled the allegations for $465 million with the Department of Justice. (Swetlitz, 12/4)
Next Finance Leaders Begin Drug Price Work With Medicaid Bill
“This bipartisan bill will crack down on Big Pharma’s games and help prevent them from taking advantage of Medicaid, a program meant to protect the most vulnerable,” Wyden said. “I am hopeful that this legislation will become law by the end of the year and set the tone for the important work that lies ahead to lower prescription drug prices for families across the country." Lowering drug prices could be an area of future bipartisan cooperation, given the general interest of President Donald Trump and Democrats. (Siddons, 12/4)
In other news —
Top Biotech Lobbyist: Industry Under 'Greater Threat' Than Ever Before
The top biotech industry lobbyist said his industry is “under a greater threat than it’s ever been before” as the Trump administration and Democrats in Congress set their sights on drug companies. ... Democrats are set to take over the House in January after winning elections across the country on a message of health care and lower drug prices. President Trump has also attacked drug companies for raising prices, which the industry worries could combine with a Democratic House to create a perfect storm aimed at drug companies. (Sullivan and Weixel, 12/4)
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