Democratic E&C Leaders Seek Information on EpiPen Pricing
Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to Mylan Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch today seeking information about the pricing of the EpiPen, including information about recent announcements by the company to launch an authorized generic and offer additional discounts to patients. Mylan has increased the cost of the EpiPen, which is used to treat patients suffering from an allergic emergency, by more than 400 percent since first acquiring rights to the medication in 2007.
“We would like more information to understand Mylan’s pricing of its EpiPen and how the company is ensuring that patients suffering from allergic emergencies have access to these life-saving products,” the Energy and Commerce Democrats wrote in their letter to Bresch. “Further, please explain why Mylan chose to authorize a generic product versus reducing the cost of its brand name EpiPen - a brand American consumers have consistently relied on for decades.”
The three Democratic Committee leaders also called on full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) to schedule a hearing next month on Mylan’s pricing practices and its impact on Americans who suffer from severe allergies.
“Mylan’s 400 percent price increase of this life-saving medication is deeply troubling, and should be properly examined by our committee as soon as possible,” the Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats said. “We’re requesting Chairman Upton schedule a hearing in September to better understand the industry environment and practices that allowed for the skyrocketing cost of EpiPens so that we can ensure all patients continue to have access to this life-saving drug.”
When Mylan acquired the EpiPen in 2007, the wholesale cost of the product was $57. Today, the list price of a dual EpiPen package is over $600. Aggressive marketing and price increases led to EpiPen sales of over $1 billion in 2015, which accounted for approximately 40 percent of Mylan’s profits.
As part of their letter to Mylan, the members submitted additional questions and requests for information, including:
- Why did Mylan increase the cost of the EpiPen by 400 percent?
- Provide specific details on product improvements and investments made by the company that improved safety, efficacy or convenience in light of the company’s statements that product improvements have driven up the costs of the EpiPen.
- What, if any, research did Mylan conduct on the patient impact of such a drastic price increase? Did Mylan consult with patient advocacy groups, hospitals, insurance providers, or other stakeholders before increasing the list price of EpiPen?
- What information does Mylan have on how many EpiPen products are purchased by federal programs? To what extent did Mylan take into account the cost to the American taxpayer when attempting to control costs through a savings card program, which federal programs are prohibited by law from participating in, versus an overall price decrease?
- Why did Mylan opt to utilize a savings card program versus an overall price decrease?
A copy of the letter is available here
CJ Young — (202) 225-5735