Azar: I am a Big Supporter of the “Sunshine Act”…Transparency Is Extremely Helpful

Azar: Will Ensure that the [Medicaid Drug Rebate] Program is Improved

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, today gained commitments from President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary nominee Alex Azar II regarding transparency and protecting taxpayer dollars. Azar committed to continuing the online posting by HHS of payments to physicians by drug companies in accordance with the Physician Payments Sunshine Act and to working to fix the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to prevent waste and fraud of taxpayer dollars. Video of the exchange can be found here.

Signed into law in 2010, Grassley is the co-author of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act disclosure requirements for drug company payments to doctors. Between 2013 and 2016, industry payments totaled $24.94 billion, covering 40.77 million records. Grassley is the lead co-sponsor of pending bipartisan legislation, the Provider Payment Sunshine Act, to apply the disclosure requirements to nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

For months, Grassley has pressed for the accurate classification of prescription drugs under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Grassley’s work was prompted by letters from Iowans about increasing EpiPen costs. Grassley previously expressed disappointment regarding the settlement between the Justice Department and EpiPen-maker Mylan over its misclassification, saying the amount shortchanged taxpayers. Grassley also sought accurate overpayment amounts for Dilaudid and Prilosec, two other popular drugs that reportedly were misclassified.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher