Back when the pharmaceutical company Mylan purchased the EpiPen patent from Merck in 2007, the wholesale price was $56.64. Since then, the cost of the epinephrine injection has jumped to $317.82 — a 461 percent price increase for what’s about one dollar’s worth of medicine. It’s no coincidence that the salary of Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch has also spiked from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068 — a whopping 671 percent increase in the same period of time. Some might call the Senator’s daughter the Martin Shkreli of peanut allergies.
Depending on the type of insurance, consumers can now expect to spend up to $400 for a single pack of EpiPen. Despite the fact that the EpiPen is no longer covered by patent protection, Mylan has been able to rip people off because they don’t have any real competitors. Auvi-Q came close, but was recalled for faulty dosages in 2015. Another competitor, Teva, did not win FDA approval for their generic version of the EpiPen and will not resubmit for approval until at least 2017, Bloomberg reports. Until then, Mylan has a monopoly and parents of kids with severe allergic reactions just drew the “461-percent price increase” Chance Card.
But Bresch and other Mylan executives may have underestimated one key challenger: members of Congress who also happen to be parents. “Patients all over the U.S. rely on these products, including my own daughter,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said in a statement. “Not only should the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing, the Federal Trade Commission should investigate these price increases immediately.” That’s precisely what Congress has called for, along with a full FTC report on why this is happening and how it can be fixed within the next 90 days. In the meantime, parents can contact their Senators and Representatives to see where they stand, sign this petition pushing for an EpiPen price reduction, and teach their kids how to avoid bees.
[H/T] U.S. Uncut