People have been up in arms about the high price of EpiPens, and its maker, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, has taken note.
Tensions over this issue have flared up this week as senators and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have taken a stand against the price of the medicine. The EpiPen is a device used in emergencies to treat anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can make people go into shock, struggle to breathe, or get a skin rash.
So in response, Mylan said Thursday, the company would cover up to $300 of what people pay for a two-pack of EpiPen. Previously, the savings card covered up to $100.
In a statement, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch pointed to changing healthcare insurance plans as the reason for the increased pressure. “We recognise 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,” she said. “Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them.”
This discount doesn’t change the list price to the drug, which since 2007, when Mylan Pharmaceuticals bought the EpiPen from Merck KGaA, has gone up from $93.88 to $608.61 as of May 16, 2016 according to Truven Health Analytics. That’s an increase of more than 500%.
Here’s the full release:
“Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ, TASE: MYL) today announced it is taking immediate action to further enhance access to EpiPen® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector by expanding already existing programs in recognition of those patients who are facing the burden of higher out-of-pocket costs. The company is reducing the patient cost of EpiPen® Auto-Injector through the use of a savings card which will cover up to $300for their 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, which will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for uninsured and under-insured patients and families as well.
“Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said, “We have been a long-term, committed partner to the allergy community and are taking immediate action to help ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen® Auto-Injector gets one. We recognise 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. 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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