Dec 12, 2018

House passes a baby step on drug prices

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House yesterday overwhelmingly passed a bill cracking down on some of the tactics Mylan used to pay lower Medicaid rebates for the EpiPen. The Senate is hoping to pass the bill this year.

The big picture: EpiPen was misclassified as a generic drug within Medicaid, which resulted in Mylan paying less in rebates and causing taxpayers to overpay as much as $1.27 billion over 10 years, according to one government estimate.

  • The new bill gives HHS the explicit authority to reclassify drugs, recover incorrect rebate payments, and fine drugmakers that knowingly misclassify drugs.
  • While this bill is small, it's also a sign of at least some bipartisanship on drug prices.

By the numbers: Only about 3% of drugs in the Medicaid rebate program were potentially misclassified in 2016, according to an HHS report.

  • Medicaid reimbursement for these drugs totaled about $813 million.
  • While 54 drugmakers may have misclassified drugs, four were responsible for more than half of all potential misclassifications.
  • Between 2012 and 2016, drugmakers may have owed an additional $1.3 billion in rebates for just 10 potentially misclassified drugs.

Go deeper: The drug pricing maze

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors
  6. Sanders and Bloomberg battle over heart health

Trump has declared war on sanctuary cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Armed with subpoenas, lawsuits and immigration SWAT teams, the Trump administration has declared war on sanctuary cities.

The big picture: President Trump and his administration have used every available tool to try to crack down on local governments that refuse to hold immigrants in criminal custody, block immigration agents from working in county jails or deny federal authorities access to immigrants' records.

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

Illustration: Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Charles Eshelman, Steve Jennings, and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Founders Fund has raised $3 billion for a pair of new funds, so expect a slew of headlines about how "Peter Thiel's venture capital firm" is now flush with cash.

Behind the scenes: Thiel is essential to Founders Fund, but he's not autocratic. Instead, Axios has learned that he's one of three people with veto power over most FF investments, and is unable to do a deal without approval of the other two.