August 31, 2016

Hirono Presses EpiPen Manufacturer on Price Hikes

Expresses Concern With Accessibility, Discount Program’s Cost to Consumers

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and 18 of their colleagues expressed deep concern about EpiPen manufacture Mylan’s recent significant price hikes in a letter to its CEO Heather Bresch. The senators pressed the company about its decision to expand its patient discount program, which allows the company to sharply increase prices while passing the cost of these increases onto consumers.

“The EpiPen…has become so exorbitantly expensive that access to this life saving combination product is in jeopardy for many Americans,” the Senators wrote. “Mylan’s near monopoly on the epinephrine auto-injector market has allowed you to increase prices well beyond those that are justified by any increase in the costs of manufacturing the EpiPen.”

The letter notes that in response to public concern about the rising cost of the EpiPen, Mylan has expanded its current accessibility programs -- including increasing the maximum value of its savings card from $100 to $300 – although the company would not reduce the EpiPen’s sticker price. The Senators explain, “These changes will help some customers who are struggling to afford EpiPens.  Your discount programs, however, represent a well-defined industry tactic to keep costs high through a complex shell game.”

The Senators also asked Mylan for details on its decision to manufacture a generic EpiPen, including when the generic would become available to consumers.

Click here to read the full letter.