Dec 4, 2018

Key senators announce new drug pricing bill

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.

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health