Senators probing EpiPen price hike received donations from Mylan PAC

Sen. Grassley: Need more transparency in drug pricing
Sen. Grassley: Need more transparency in drug pricing

A political committee for Mylan has donated to most of the Senate committee that has asked the drugmaker to explain price increases for allergy treatment EpiPen and could grill executives in a hearing on the matter.

The Mylan Inc. PAC has given $13,500 to four current members of the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2014, including $5,000 to ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and $5,000 to the Senate's likely next Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Since 1999, the PAC has donated more than $60,000 to 11 current members of the 20-person judiciary committee. Most of those donations came after 2008.

This illustrates the reach of Mylan's political effort, which extended to candidates and political action committees in 22 states between December, 2014, to the end of 2015. The Mylan PAC had $95,500 in political contributions for that period, while incurring $319,000 in indirect lobbying expenses as part of trade association membership.

The judiciary committee's chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, this week requested more information from Mylan about EpiPen pricing amid furor over the its 400 percent cost increase in recent years. Grassley's campaign committee received a $5,000 donation from the Mylan PAC in 2006, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

In all, the campaigns of Leahy and Schumer have received $15,000 and $9,500 from the PAC, respectively.

Heather Bresch, chief executive officer of Mylan
Chris Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch also personally gave $2,700 to Schumer's campaign committee in June. She previously contributed $2,400 and $1,000 to Leahy and Grassley's committees in 2009 and 2006, respectively.

The $60,000 the Mylan PAC gave those senators' campaigns makes up only about 7 percent of the roughly $900,000 in contributions it has given to committees since 1998. It is only a meager sum in the high-spending American political process. In addition, nothing points to those senators doing Mylan favors because of the donations.

Still, it raises questions about Mylan's links to the committee ahead of its possible wider scrutiny of the company's pricing.

A spokeswoman for Grassley said he takes legal contributions that come with no strings attached and do not affect his Senate work.

Mylan and a spokesperson for the judiciary committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A trade group Mylan contributes to has also supported senators on the judiciary committee. The Mylan PAC has given $64,000 to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association PAC since 2003, making an annual contribution. That organization has supported some of the same senators as the Mylan PAC while giving money to other lawmakers.

The PAC gave Grassley and Leahy $1,000 each last year. It has also donated $5,000 to Schumer since last year.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., judiciary committee members who did not get contributions from the Mylan PAC, received donations from the generic pharmaceutical association PAC. Blumenthal has received $3,000 since 2014, while Flake got $2,500 in 2014.

Grassley, who has called on Mylan to give more information on why it hiked prices, is not the only politician involved in the debate who has received money from the Mylan PAC. The campaign committee for Hillary Clinton, who called on Mylan to reduce EpiPen prices this week, received $2,000 from the organization in 2006 when she was a senator.

The company also gave a donation in the range of $100,001 to $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation at an unspecified date.

CNBC's Eamon Javers contributed to this report.