EpiPen Maker to Skip Senate Committee Hearing

Nancy Crotti

November 22, 2016

3 Min Read
EpiPen Maker to Skip Senate Committee Hearing

Mylan declined in a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, citing non-attendance by others.

Nancy Crotti


Mylan N.V. will not testify at a U.S. Senate hearing regarding its proposed $465 million payment to settle claims that it overcharged the government for its EpiPen for several years.

In a November 18 letter released this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), an attorney representing Mylan wrote that it appeared the November 30 hearing would focus on the committee's oversight of government agencies rather than on the pending settlement. Since the matter is still pending and the U.S. Justice Department and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will not be sending representatives to the hearing, Mylan respectfully declined, the attorney wrote.

Grassley blasted all three in a statement on his website, citing the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that Medicaid overpaid Mylan for the EpiPen, a device that patients use to counteract potentially deadly allergic reactions. Mylan began charging Medicaid $600 for the device that it previously charged $100. The company announced in August that  it would reduce the patient cost of the device from $600 to $300 through the use of a reusable coupon.

"The Obama Administration is dodging accountability for an expensive problem, and now a company is following its bad example," the statement says.  "Ironically, the company was eager to talk about this problem a few weeks ago in a press release to investors but not before the United States Senate.  It's a shame government agencies and the company are ducking accountability under a voluntary process."

Grassley vowed "to get answers for patients and taxpayers."

Mylan has been facing both congressional and public furor over the company hiking the price for the life-saving product more than sixfold since 2007.

Mylan misclassified the drug-device combo as a generic product with CMS when it should have categorized it as a brand-name product, CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt told Congress in a letter last month. The difference shows up in the rebate that drug companies pay to Medicaid based upon the drug's classification. The rebate to state Medicaid programs for a generic drug is 13% of the average manufacturer price, according to CMS regulations. For a brand-name drug, a company pays a rebate of 23.1%.

The hearing might be rescheduled, and Grassley has the power to issue subpoenas should any of the parties decline again, a spokeswoman for the senator told Reuters in an email. The committee rarely issues subpoenas, which would require a vote or unanimous agreement, the news agency reported. 

In a separate letter, dated November 15 but released this week, Grassley asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Mylan's press release announcing the settlement was intended to boost the company's stock price by misleading investors. Grassley asked for a response from SEC by November 29.

Mylan had no further comment beyond what it already reported in its third quarter report, according to a company spokeswoman.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed.

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[Image courtesy of Mylan]

About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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