Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office compared newly released information about Medicaid and Medicare costs for EpiPens with Mylan filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Grassley analysis finds that the share of Mylan’s revenue for EpiPens from the taxpayers went up each year from 2011 to 2015, from 23.3 percent in 2011 to 53.4 percent in 2015. Total government charges for EpiPens increased 463 percent while EpiPen unit sales at large increased only 51 percent from 2011 to 2015. This is beyond the over-charging for EpiPens under a Medicaid misclassification, which Grassley is pushing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to explain. Grassley made the following comment on these findings.
“This analysis shows Mylan received a lot of money from taxpayers. The company did this by substantially increasing the price of EpiPens. The majority of Mylan’s EpiPen revenue growth came from Medicare and Medicaid. For whatever reason, Mylan’s results indicate it found more success selling EpiPens through government programs than through the private insurance market.
“This raises a lot of questions, not just for EpiPens but for prescription drugs generally. Is the FDA moving quickly enough to approve generic drug applications so there’s competition to help hold down prices? Are brand companies able to game the FDA approval process to delay generic drug approvals? Are the antitrust regulators making sure companies are not engaging in anticompetitive activity in violation of antitrust laws? And Congress should approve the bills I’ve cosponsored. One would deter brand name drug companies from denying access to drug samples so generic drug companies can conduct testing and develop less expensive alternatives. The other bill would help put an end to pay-for-delay settlements between brand name and generic drug companies that delay consumers’ access to lower cost generics.
“Separately, CMS says it warned Mylan about misclassifying the EpiPen under Medicaid but it’s unclear what steps it took to challenge the misclassification. The agency has the authority to impose penalties in misclassification cases. If the Obama Administration didn’t use the authority in this misclassification case, why not? The taxpayers depend on enforcement to make sure every dollar is well-spent. I’ll continue to work on this for the people of Iowa and taxpayers in general.”