Two US Senators Call For Investigation on Massive EpiPen Price Increases

Two US Senators Call For Investigation on Massive EpiPen Price Increases

With the recent media attention on the massive price increases on EpiPen, epinephrine auto-injectors used in emergencies during food allergy reactions, two U.S. senators are speaking out about their concerns to see if the price increases  are justified. An EpiPen currently costs approximately $500, whereas it was only $57 in 2007.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has written a letter to Mylan, the manufacturer of this life saving drug, asking for the reasons behind the price increases, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

In the letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, Senator Grassley stated “I am concerned that the substantial price increase could limit access to a much-needed medication.”

Senator Klobuchar is an allergy-parent that is directly impacted by the price increases. In her letter to the Federal Trade Commission, she states “Many Americans, including my own daughter, rely on this life-saving product to treat severe allergic reactions.” She also called the price increase unjustified, putting “life-saving treatment out of reach to the consumers who need it most.”

Currently, there is no generic equivalent for the EpiPen auto-injector, and since the Auvi-Q recall in October 2015, there is no direct competitor. EpiPen has a U.S. patent giving it a monopoly until 2025.

Drug prices will be a hot topic in the upcoming presidential race, and Congressional committees have been investigating many massive price increases by other companies involving drugs for cancer and rare diseases.