Senators Turn Heat Up on Mylan to Explain Price Hikes for EpiPen Device

August 26, 2016

Four U.S. senators are turning up the heat on Mylan, requesting information on the company’s prike hikes for its emergency allergy auto-injector EpiPen.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, sent an Aug. 24 letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch summoning her to appear before the committee “no later than two weeks from today.”

The senators questioned the price of the “relatively old product” and the impact of the 400 percent price increase since 2007.

Mylan came under the spotlight when Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) urged the FTC to open an investigation into Mylan’s pricing of the emergency allergy treatment.

Klobuchar, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, is asking the FTC to probe the company’s sales of the epinephrine auto-injector to determine whether Mylan violated antitrust laws and incentivized contracts with insurers, distributors or pharmacies.

The recall of Sanofi’s competing product Auvi-Q last year due to dosing errors left Mylan’s EpiPen dominating the market as the only epinephrine auto injector product on the market.

In a letter to the FTC released Aug. 22, Klobuchar compares the price of the drug in 2008, when a two-pack of EpiPens cost $100, to the therapy’s current price of $500. The 400-percent increase outpaces “stable manufacturing costs,” she said.

In a separate letter released Aug. 22, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mylan to explain the rise in price, questioning the company on its price analyses, advertising budget and patient-assistance programs

In a statement, Mylan tried to deflect the negative attention, focusing instead on its efforts to raise awareness for the epinephrine auto injector, and its patient assistance program.

Read Collins’ and McCaskill’s letter here: www.fdanews.com/08-25-16-Senatorsletter.pdf, and Senator Grassley’s letter here: www.fdanews.com/08-24-16-Grassleyletter.pdf. Tamra Sami, Jose Vasquez