Senators Question Price Increase of Mylan's EpiPen


Concerns about steep drug price increases are now focusing on Mylan's allergy treatment EpiPen.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in an Aug. 20 statement that a pack of two EpiPens cost $100 in 2009. Mylan is now selling the packs for $500, with some patients reportedly seeing prices as high as $600, she said. Klobuchar asked the Judiciary Committee to investigate.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the committee, sent a request Aug. 22 to Mylan for information on the pricing of EpiPen.

Grassley's letter said the cost of an EpiPen prescription “has implications for the federal taxpayers.” He said more than 40 percent of U.S. children are insured through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, adding that “many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid and therefore the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication.”

The requests come as the drug industry has been criticized for its high prices, with some specific instances gaining notoriety. For example, in 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent. Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be life-threatening for people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions that cause compromised immune systems.

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