ABC World News reported that Mylan’s decision to increase the price of the “life-saving allergy medicine EpiPen” by about 480 percent is “forcing many families to make tough choices.” Families can no longer purchase several EpiPens and store them in multiple locations. The actual cost of the medicine is about a dollar per dosage, but Mylan told “ABC News that they’re bearing more of the cost.” Other companies are trying to develop more affordable alternatives, but there is currently “no real competitor on the market.”
US lawmakers, officials questioning EpiPen price increase.
ABC World News reported three senators are seeking justification for “the skyrocketing cost of EpiPens.” Prices “soared by 480 percent since 2009, from 100 to 600 dollars apiece.”
NBC Nightly News briefly reported the senators “sent letters to Mylan,” the maker of EpiPens.
The Hill reports that in a letter, US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked Mylan to justify the increase in price of the device. Meanwhile, US Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is now calling for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the price increases. The article reports Andy Slavitt, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acting administrator, tweeted on Sunday about the increasing prices saying, “We can make drug inflation more transparent & address unchecked increases without damaging innovation.”
The New York Times “Well” blog reports “Mylan has declined to comment on the price hike, issuing a statement pointing the finger at high-deductible health plans that require consumers to pay much more out of pocket for many drugs.” The company “said a $100 coupon they offer for the product means most people don’t pay anything for the pens.” Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has also “called on Mylan to explain the price hikes” and “a petition to Congress protesting the price increase, called ‘Stop the EpiPen Price Gouging,’ has emerged on social media. It has collected more than 48,000 signatures.”
STAT also covers the story mentioning that Sen. Klobuchar has also called for the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee to investigate the price increases too. Additional coverage offered by USA Today and Fortune.
Mylan critized for EpiPen price increases.
In continuing coverage, ABC World News Tonight reported on “the growing outrage over the skyrocketing price of” the “life-saving” EpiPens.
AFP reports many people are criticizing Mylan, which sells the EpiPen, for the “five-fold” price increase of the product in a period of six years, but Mylan has responded to the criticism saying that many consumers pay very little for the product because it is covered by insurance. The article describes Mylan as “the newest drugmaker to come under attack in the United States for profiteering.”
On its website, NBC News reports the total compensation for Mylan CEO Heather Bresch increased by 671 percent between 2007 and 2015, while the price of EpiPens has increased by over 400 percent since the company bought the rights to the product in 2007.
Vinita Nair reported on the CBS Evening News that Mylan has had “a virtual monopoly…after a competitor took a similar product off the market.”
USA Today points out that the price of EpiPens has been increasing for several years, but suggests more attention is being paid to the trend now because parents are trying to stock up on the product before a new school year begins and some are finding out their coverage has changed requiring them to pay a higher out-of-pocket cost for the product. The article also notes that last year the American Academy of Pediatrics approved a resolution to lobby Congress on the matter.
On its website, CNN also reports on the rising price of EpiPens and points out that the prices of many other drugs have also increased in recent years because of a combination of factors.
The AP reports more members of Congress are calling for Mylan or government agencies to explain why the price of EpiPens has increased so much in recent years. US Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), co-chair of the Congressional Kids Safety Caucus, has asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold a hearing on the matter.
Fierce Pharma reports Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted, “There’s no reason an EpiPen, which costs Mylan just a few dollars to make, should cost families more than $600.”
The Hill reports that US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted that the rising price of EpiPens is “unacceptable.”
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.