For months, Sen. Chuck Grassley has pressed for the accurate classification of prescription drugs under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.  Grassley’s work was prompted by the news that EpiPen maker Mylan was in discussions with the Justice Department to settle a case and repay the taxpayers for over-charging for EpiPen.  The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General most recently told Grassley that the taxpayers may have overpaid for EpiPen by as much as $1.27 billion from 2006 through 2016, far more than previously discussed.  Grassley also is seeking accurate overpayment amounts for Dilaudid and Prilosec, two other popular drugs that reportedly were misclassified.  Grassley made the following comment on the news that the White House is working on an executive order to address the high cost of prescription drugs.

“I’m very interested in the executive order.  The Administration is right to focus on the high cost of prescription drugs. The sticker shock is real.  It affects people paying out of pocket, and it affects spending by Medicaid and Medicare.  One step the Administration could and should take immediately is to make sure all prescription drugs are classified the right way under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.  Billions of dollars owed to the taxpayers are at stake.  We’re all worried about health care spending and trying to get the most bang for the buck.  Holding prescription drug companies accountable for their obligations to taxpayers is a good place to start.  It’s unclear why the previous administration apparently let Mylan get by for years with over-charging for EpiPens, and apparently other companies with their drugs, but there’s a chance now to fix that mistake.  The current administration should do it.”  

Grassley’s letter to then-President-elect Trump urging appropriate classification under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program is available here. Grassley’s January letter to the outgoing administration on the issue is available here.  His Oct. 3 letter to the prior administration on the EpiPen misclassification is available here.