20 September 2016

The EpiPen Price Gouging is a Family Affair

It turns out that Gayle Manchin, Senator Joe Manchin's wife and mother of Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, was appointed chair of the National Association of State Boards of Education , where she relentlessly pushed to increase EpiPen sales:
After Gayle Manchin took over the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2012, she spearheaded an unprecedented effort that encouraged states to require schools to purchase medical devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions.

The association's move helped pave the way for Mylan Specialty, maker of EpiPens, to develop a near monopoly in school nurses' offices. Eleven states drafted laws requiring epinephrine auto-injectors. Nearly every other state recommended schools stock them after what the White House called the "EpiPen Law" in 2013 gave funding preference to those that did.

The CEO of Mylan then, and now, was Heather Bresch. Gayle Manchin is Heather Bresch's mother.
The whole Manchin clan is in on this bit of looting.

On the bright side, both New York (first link) and West Virginia are looking at antitrust and Medicate fraud allegations against the firm:
On the eve of a Congressional hearing on the soaring price and lack of competition for the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, the attorney general for West Virginia has confirmed his office is investigating EpiPen maker Mylan for allegations of antitrust violations and Medicaid fraud.

WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey confirmed the investigation today, revealing that he’d issued a subpoena to Mylan back in August, seeking documents and other information related to EpiPen, but that the company failed to meet the Sept. 7 deadline.

In response, Morrisey’s office has petitioned [PDF] a state circuit court to enforce that subpoena.

The state believes that EpiPen has been short-changing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) by paying smaller rebates than it should have.

Drug companies pay different levels of rebates to BMS depending on whether a medication is considered an “innovator” or a “non-innovator.” The lower, non-innovator distinction, is usually reserved for generics, but Morrisey says that Mylan was paying that rate for EpiPen, even though it’s a brand-name drug.

This may constitute Medicaid fraud under state law, according to the petition.

The state also believes that Mylan may have violated state antitrust laws by filing an intellectual property suit against Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2012 over an in-development generic version of EpiPen.
Joe Manchin will lose his bid for reelection in 2018.

If the Democratic base does not aggressively primary him, they are idiots.


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