Dec 4, 2018

Key senators announce new drug pricing bill

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — the incoming chair and ranking member of the Finance Committee, respectively — plan to introduce a bill cracking down on the kind of tactics Mylan used to pay lower Medicaid rebates for EpiPens.

Why it matters: This is a strong signal that there's room for the committee to work together on drug pricing issues next year.

Details: EpiPen was misclassified as a generic drug within the Medicaid drug rebate program, 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 Grassley-Wyden bill gives HHS the explicit authority to reclassify drugs, recover incorrect rebate payments and fine companies that knowingly misclassify drugs.
  • It also requires HHS to submit reports to Congress on how its new authority has been used.

Go deeper

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.