EpiPen discounts offered after pricing flap
After protests by patients, parents and Congressional representatives, Mylan said it would offer discounts on its epinephrine EpiPen Auto-Injector treatment to stop allergic reactions.
The price of EpiPen spiked from around $100 in 2008 to between $500 and $600 this year. One patient reported a pre-insurance cost of more than $1,100.
Some Congressional representatives called for a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation and Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded an explanation for the 400 percent price increase for EpiPens since the company acquired the product in 2007.
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“With Americans across the country sending their children back to school this month, many parents and schools are encountering sticker shock over the cost of EpiPens. Although the product is unchanged since 2009, the cost has skyrocketed by more than 400 percent during that period,” said the American Medical Association (AMA) in a statement. “The AMA has long urged the pharmaceutical industry to exercise reasonable restraint in drug pricing, and, with lives on the line, we urge the manufacturer to do all it can to rein in these exorbitant costs.”
While Mylan did not say it would lower the cost of the EpiPen, it said it is “expanding already existing programs in recognition of those patients who are facing the burden of higher out-of-pocket cost”.
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Mylan is immediately offering a savings card, which will cover up to $300 for patients’ EpiPen 2-Pak. “For patients who were previously paying the full amount of the company's list price for EpiPen, this effectively reduces their out-of-pocket cost exposure by 50%.”
Mylan also is doubling the eligibility for its patient assistance program to 400% of the federal poverty level. “This means a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for their EpiPen Auto-Injector,” the company said.
“We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter. Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them,” said Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. “However, price is only one part of the problem that we are addressing with today's actions. All involved must also take steps to help meaningfully address the U.S. healthcare crisis, and we are committed to do our part to drive change in collaboration with policymakers, payors, patients and healthcare professionals."
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