Bipartisan senators introduce new drug pricing bill

A bill introduced by Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill Five takeaways from the court decision striking down ObamaCare The Year Ahead: Tough tests loom for Trump trade agenda MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure 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.