Late last month, Senators Grassley (R-IA), Brown (D-OH), and Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Fighting the Opioid Epidemic with Sunshine Act, a bill that would expand Physician Payment Sunshine Act reporting requirements to cover payments and other transfers of value made to advance practice nurses and physician assistants. As indicated in Senator Grassley’s announcement of the bill, the Senators are tying the expansion of the Sunshine Act to addressing the opioid epidemic. Applicable manufacturers who are required to report Sunshine Act data through the Open Payments system should follow this bill. As Congress continues to consider opioid issues, this bill could be included in a broader package of legislation. Continue Reading New Bill Would Expand the Sunshine Act to Cover Physician Assistants and Advance Practice Nurses
Back in early October, we were all transfixed by the announced Mylan settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over Mylan’s alleged underpayments of Medicaid Drug Rebates for the EpiPen. Although Mylan indicated that its $465 million settlement resolved all potential liability to government programs over EpiPen’s classification for Medicaid Drug Rebate purposes, DOJ would not confirm the specifics of the settlement and it appeared that no actual settlement documents had even been drafted. We blogged our thoughts that the “settlement” was actually a handshake deal that had not been reduced to writing, had not been agreed to by the states, and had left the extent of any releases and future compliance to be negotiated. And we said Congressional scrutiny would not end due to the announced settlement.
Multiple state and government officials decried the announced settlement as inadequate. Senator Grassley went so far as to schedule a Senate hearing on the settlement, but was forced to postpone it when no one from DOJ or Mylan would agree to attend and testify.
Then the election intervened, and EpiPen rebates were yesterday’s news. However, Senator Grassley, for one, is not letting go. But at this point, his focus is more on government action, or inaction, over drug classifications. And depending on what his inquiry reveals, it may end up hurting, not helping, any government case against Mylan, and potentially other drug manufacturers, based on classification of drugs for purposes of Medicaid Drug Rebates.