Mylan received massive backlash after it hiked the price of their EpiPen, a life saving allergy shot. At first the company said it would offer the medicine at a discount price, but now it has taken it a step further by offering a generic version.
But is it enough? The name brand costs $600, but Mylan only cut the price of the generic to $300, which is still a lot for a two pack.
From ARS Technica:
Since Mylan bought EpiPens in 2007, the company has increased the price from around $50 for a single pen to a little more than $600 for a two pack—a more than 400 percent increase in costs. The new generic option, which the company said will be identical to EpiPens and available in a few weeks, is a two-pack with a list price of $300. That’s half of the current list price for a two pack, but still triple the 2007 cost of the devices.
Some have wondered why Mylan “does not reduce the price across the board rather than introduce an identical generic.” Mylan said it has to do with Pfizer, its manufacturing partner. CEO Heather Bresch released this statement:
We understand the deep frustration and concerns associated with the cost of EpiPen® to the patient and have always shared the public’s desire to ensure that this important product be accessible to anyone who needs it. Our decision to launch a generic alternative to EpiPen® is an extraordinary commercial response, which required the cooperation of our partner [Pfizer]. However, because of the complexity and opaqueness of today’s branded pharmaceutical supply chain and the increased shifting of costs to patients as a result of high deductible health plans, we determined that bypassing the brand system in this case and offering an additional alternative was the best option.
Usually drug companies offer generic brands when another company produces a generic version. Mylan does not have this problem, but could soon because of the high prices. Now these other drug companies could try to develop a generic version while “pressure is mounting on the Food and Drug Administration, which rejected a generic version from Teva earlier this year, to perhaps be more accommodating in letting alternatives on the market.”
People lashed out at Mylan when the company raised the price of the two pack to $600. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mylan and other drug companies said “insurance plans that force consumers to pay an ever-larger share of drug costs out of pocket, and note that few health insurers and drug-benefit managers pay a drug’s list price because of rebates and discounts.”
Mylan said it will expand its patient assistance program to “cover those with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, compared with 200 percent presently.” The company will also allow the patients to order the medicine “directly from the company.”DONATE
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