(Bloomberg) — Two top Democratic lawmakers asked for information about how Mylan NV may have grossly underpaid rebates to a government health program for its EpiPen allergy shot for almost two decades, adding to the growing number of inquiries about the drugmaker’s pricing practices.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and House Rep. Frank Pallone from New Jersey sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell Friday, asking for more details about the drug’s classification and rebate obligations under the Medicaid health program for the poor.
“Mylan has complied with all laws and regulations regarding the Medicaid rebate classification of EpiPen,” Nina Devlin, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
The EpiPen was classified as a “non-innovator” drug, which allows for a lower rebate paid to government programs, before Mylan acquired the product in 2007, Devlin said. Under a new federal rule, Mylan will have to apply to maintain its non-innovator status by April 1, which the company intends to do, she said.
Mylan dropped 5 percent to $39.83 at 2:38 p.m. in New York. The shares had begun falling earlier after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a set of proposals for curbing price increases on older drugs.
After Mylan raised the price of the EpiPen more than 400 percent since 2007 to $600 for a two-pack of the shots, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Aging requested briefings and information from the company. The drugmaker agreed to brief the oversight committee next week, MJ Henshaw, a committee spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. An aging committee aide said Mylan has also agreed to brief panel staff next week.
Committees often seek briefings with key players to allow congressional staff to prepare for hearings. Mylan Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch is the daughter of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin is not on the aging or oversight committee.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, wrote the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday asking it to investigate whether Mylan violated antitrust laws.
Mylan successfully pushed legislation known as the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act to encourage use of the EpiPen in schools nationwide. Mylan also has instituted the EpiPen4Schools Program that allows schools to receive four free auto-injectors.