Bipartisan senators introduce new drug pricing bill

A bill introduced by Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Dem lawmaker: 'Trump's presidency is the real national emergency' Dems introduce bill to take gender-specific terms out of tax code to make it LGBT-inclusive MORE (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.

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The bill would give the Department of Health and Human Services new authority to reclassify a drug and recoup rebates when a manufacturer deliberately misclassifies a drug in order to pay lower rebates.

The lawmakers specifically mentioned Mylan, which paid $465 million to settle a lawsuit with the Justice Department in 2016. The company incorrectly classified the EpiPen as a generic drug, when it was actually a brand name drug.

The settlement may have only been a fraction of the total amount Mylan underpaid. One federal analysis found that taxpayers may have overpaid for EpiPen by as much as $1.27 billion over 10 years.

“While families struggle to afford medicines like EpiPen, drug makers are busy manipulating the system to squeeze taxpayers even more,” Wyden said in a statement. “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."

Lowering drug prices has been a regular talking point for the Trump administration and legislators on both sides of the aisle have said they would like to address this issue through legislation.