US Senator Urges DoJ to Testify at EpiPen Hearing
US Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is urging the Department of Justice (DoJ) to reconsider its decision to refuse to appear voluntarily at a Judiciary Committee hearing on issues related to Mylan’s EpiPen’s reported misclassification with public health insurer Medicaid and resulting overcharges to taxpayers. Grassley has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 30 to examine a potential settlement in reported overcharges under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and the role government agencies had in the misclassification.
“Accountability requires getting answers about why the overcharges happened and what, if anything, is being done to make sure the taxpayers are repaid for their losses and to keep this from happening again,” he said. In response, the DoJ said as per longstanding practise, it “declines requests for non-public information about pending matters and investigations.”
Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced a settlement with the US government of $465 million on Oct. 7, and also confirmed during its third-quarter earnings call on Nov. 9 that it was working to finalize the deal. However, the DoJ has said there is no “executed settlement” so far. The deal has come under criticism from some officials who want the DoJ to ask for more. Senator Richard Blumenthal called it a “shadow of what it should be”, while West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey described it as a “sweetheart” deal.
The money that Mylan has set aside to end the dispute contributed to its third-quarter net loss of nearly $120 million, compared to a profit of nearly $429 million in the same period a year earlier. The drugmaker said in August it is planning to launch an authorized generic of its EpiPen at half the price, expected in the first half of December.