Senator Charles Grassley was told in a letter by outgoing head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Andrew Slavit that there was no deal reached between the agency and the pharmaceutical company regarding settlement of disputes yet. The company is working on finalizing the deal with the government. Mylan NV is yet to reach a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the classification of its life-saving EpiPen allergy treatment drug.
In October, Mylan said that a total of $465 million would be shelled out by the company to settle allegations that it had shortchanged the U.S. government healthcare programs. The dispute involves EpiPen being classified as a generic drug instead of a branded one. This classification led to smaller rebates from Mylan to the state Medicaid programs. According to CMS, EpiPen is a branded drug by definition. Senator Grassley has been pressing for information of the settlement deal between Mylan and the U.S. Justice Department. In November Mylan had declined to testify at a Judiciary committee according to the senator according to a report by Reuters.
The settlement was hastily arranged by Mylan on October 7 could possibly get the company off the hook and escape possible criminal prosecution. It will also allow the company to deny wrongdoing and delay payment of higher rebates for EpiPen until next spring. In October, Grassley’s office released statements regarding the deal. Questions of how much of the settlement would be returned to the states and if Mylan’s payment be proportional to what Mylan overcharged the taxpayers have been asked. Another question is whether Mylan liable and how much would be paid by the company for penalties under the federal False Claims Act.
According to Grassley, the management of EpiPen by Mylan has led to higher costs for patients and their families, it also affected taxpayers across the nation by its product misclassification with the intent of dodging higher Medicaid rebate requirements. Grassley further stated that Americans deserve to know what the government is doing to hold the company accountable, prevent similar behavior in the future and to recoup lost tax money as reported in an article by CNBC.