It is almost unbelievable that a corporation can do this, but then again, not surprising. Mylan, the manufacturer of EpiPen raised the price of the allergy medication more than 400 per cent.
A medication that treats life-threatening allergic reactions to things like bees and peanuts, cost just $57 in 2007, now costs more than $500. According to NBC News, Mylan's profits from the sale of EpiPens was $1.2 billion in 2015.
Part of the company's success can be linked to an incredible awareness campaign that included celebrity spokesperson, Sarah Jessica Parker. Her son, James Wilkie, has a life-threatening peanut allergy and he relies on EpiPen in the case of emergencies. She was a dedicated voice in the awareness campaign for epinephrine as a treatment against anaphylactic shock. When she found out that the prices had raised so dramatically, she immediately cut ties with the company.
Parents have flooded the company's Facebook page with negative comments of outrage and disgust, demanding that the price be reduced to a more reasonable amount in the United States. Many called upon their State Senators and representatives to take action against the company.
To make matters worse, Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch received a 671% pay increase between 2007 and 2015, she now earns over $18 Million. In an effort to calm the masses, the company is eager to cooperate with the lawmakers and answer questions.
The company's plan of action includes:
- For patients in health plans who face higher out-of-pocket costs, the company is providing immediate relief by offering a savings card for up to $300. This will effectively reduce by 50% the cost exposure for patients who would have otherwise paid the full list price for EpiPen® Auto-Injector.
- Mylan also is doubling eligibility for our 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.
- Further, Mylan will continue to offer the EpiPen4Schools® program. The program, launched inAugust 2012, has provided more than 700,000 free epinephrine auto-injectors and educational resources to more than 65,000 schools nationwide to help them be prepared for anaphylaxis events among students.
- Mylan also is opening a pathway so that patients can order EpiPen® Auto-Injector directly from the company, thereby reducing the cost.
These programs will apply to EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injectors.
In a Tweet released today, the company announced that it will take immediate action to enhance access to the auto-injector. Consumers are not convinced, even with the insurance assistance and the coupon being offered, families are still paying more than $200 for medication that once cost $57 per pen.
You can listen to Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch, answer questions here. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Don't forget to Like and Share.