U.S. President Donald Trump has choosen who will lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Seema Verma, best-known for her role in reshaping the Indiana Medicaid program known as the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.
Among the Verma’s aims in this her new role there is the review of the system by which pharmaceutical companies classify products as generic or branded, in order to help hold down government spending.
In explaing why the the review is needed she cited Mylan NV’s EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, that has been criticized for listing EpiPen with Medicaid as a generic product even though it listed it with the Food and Drug Administration as a branded product. The classification led to Mylan’s paying significantly smaller rebates to the Medicaid healthcare program for the poor than if EpiPen were classified as branded.
“I would like to review the processes in place there, in terms of the classifications, in terms of brand and generic, to ensure that type of thing doesn’t happen again,” Verma said.
Mylan has also come under fire for raising the price of a two-pack of EpiPens to $600 last summer from $100 in 2008. Mylan began selling a generic version of EpiPen for $300 per two-pack in December.
Seema Verma did not answer questions about whether the U.S. government should negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over drug prices.