Congressman Pallone Applauds $465 million Settlement Between Mylan and the Department of Justice on EpiPen Medicaid Pricing
WASHINGTON – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued a statement on the settlement between the Department of Justice and Mylan, Inc. that will force the drug company to pay $465 million over allegations that it improperly classified its EpiPen Auto-Injector as generic drug in order to avoid paying rebates in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. The settlement comes after Congressman Pallone and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, (D-Ore) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting additional information regarding EpiPen’s classification and rebate obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. The letter was sent following revelations that Medicaid may have been grossly overpaying for the EpiPen for nearly two decades. CMS replied to Wyden and Pallone’s letter and confirmed that EpiPen had been misclassified as a generic drug since 1997.
“This is an important first step in ensuring that pharmaceutical companies do not take advantage of taxpayers,” Pallone said. “In the coming months we should take a serious look at providing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with the authority necessary to prevent this from occurring again. It is unacceptable that life-saving medicines like EpiPen are increasingly priced out of reach for families across the nation. As the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will continue to work to make sure that the most vulnerable have access to affordable medicine.”
In August, Pallone, Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to Mylan Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch seeking information about the pricing of the EpiPen, including information about recent announcements by the company to launch an authorized generic and offer additional discounts to patients. Mylan has increased the cost of the EpiPen, which is used to treat patients suffering from an allergic emergency, by more than 400 percent since first acquiring rights to the medication in 2007.