New York Opens Probe of EpiPen Price Hike

MANHATTAN (CN) – Just in time for back-to-school season, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the start of an investigation Tuesday into soaring EpiPen prices.
“No child’s life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or healthcare provider cannot afford a simple, life-saving device because of a drug-maker’s anti-competitive practices,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “If Mylan engaged in anti-competitive business practices, or violated antitrust laws with the intent and effect of limiting lower cost competition, we will hold them accountable. Allergy sufferers have enough concerns to worry about—the availability of life-saving medical treatment should not be one of them. I will bring the full resources of my office to this critical investigation.”
Dutch pharmaceutical giant Mylan has been under fire for weeks in the wake of a news investigation into the pricing of EpiPens — a portable device used to counteract allergic reactions.
Since Mylan’s merger with Dey Pharma in 2007, the cost of EpiPens have jumped 400 percent.
In addition to triggering condemnation from politicians — and from noted pharmaceutical price-gouger Martin Shkreli — EpiPen consumers have been flooding the courts with class actions.
Mylan reacted to the public outcry with an Aug. 25 launch of an initiative to double its patient-assistance program.
Offering to cover up to $300 of out-of pocket costs, Mylan says it is effectively eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for uninsured and underinsured patients
Mylan also claims that its EpiPen4Schools program has provided 700,000 free EpiPen auto-injectors to more than 65,000 participating schools.
“The program continues to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations,” a representative for the company said in a statement. “There are no purchase requirements for participation in the program, nor have there ever been to receive free EpiPen Auto-Injectors.”
“Previously, schools who wished to purchase EpiPen Auto-Injectors beyond those they were eligible to receive free under the program could elect to do so at a certain discount level with a limited purchase restriction, but such restriction no longer remains,” the statement continues. “The positive impact of the program has been demonstrated by the hundreds of uses of EpiPen auto-injectors provided through the EpiPen4Schools program during anaphylactic events in schools.”
Schneiderman’s office says it is investigating whether Mylan “inserted potentially anticompetitive terms into its EpiPen sales contracts with numerous local school systems.”

%d bloggers like this: