Hillary Clinton calls on EpiPen maker to lower price immediately

OCT. 10 2013 FILE

The boss of USA firm Mylan, Heather Bresch saw her pay increase from $2,453,456 (£1,853,763) to $18,931,068 (£14,303,791) in the same period the cost of the drug rose. But among a broader audience, few people know who she is. Each EpiPen expires after one year, so Mylan’s price hike represents an $1,800 annual recurring cost for the families of the 15 million Americans with allergies. In a statement Monday, Mylan blamed rising health insurance deductibles for the increase in out-of-pocket payments for patients and emphasized its co-payment coupons and donations of 700,000 EpiPens to schools since 2013. “All involved must also take steps to help meaningfully address the USA healthcare crisis, and we are committed to do our part to drive change in collaboration with policymakers, payors, patients and healthcare professionals”.

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday slammed the drug company Mylan Pharmaceuticals for its recent massive price hikes on EpiPens, charging that the firm is gouging consumers and is putting profit ahead of patients’ health. According to CNBC, the price of EpiPens has increased at a steady rate in those nine years.

That dread may become reality for those with severe allergies, as the company that makes the epinephrine injectors just raised the price to $609.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who has asked the company to lower its prices, is holding an event on Wednesday where he will call for investigations by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Federal Trade Commission into potential antitrust violations and deceptive and illegal trade practices. The company’s CEO, Heather Bresch, who was largely behind the price hike, is now one of the industry’s highest paid CEOs.

Earnest said the president has no regrets about signing that law, “The fact is, the medicine that is delivered through this equipment saves lives”, he said.

Drugmakers are increasingly being called to task by lawmakers and consumers for routinely hiking drug prices, especially after acquiring the products.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she hopes the recent outcry over the increasing cost of EpiPens will lead Congress to act on stalled bills aimed at reducing prescription drug costs. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc was caught in a whirlwind of criticism after it dramatically increased the price of a heart drug. “Manufacturing costs for the product have been stable and Mylan does not need to recover the product’s research and development costs because the product was on the market years before Mylan acquired it in 2007”.

In the U.S. House, Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, on Tuesday asked the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold a hearing on the issue.

Clinton said her plan also encourages the production of alternative products to “keep drug prices at a level that all Americans can afford”.