WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today demanded answers from the CEO of Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen Auto-Injector, following a massive price hike. As of May 2016, Mylan had increased the price of this life-saving device by over 480 percent – from $103.50 for a set of two in 2009 to $608.61 today – while Mylan’s own CEO’s compensation grew 670 percent.
“Parents of children with severe allergies live in fear each day that their children will have an allergic reaction. They shouldn’t also have to worry about whether they can afford the life-saving device that can protect their sons and daughters,” said Brown. “This price gouging hurts families who already struggle to get by – all while Mylan’s CEO collects an outrageous salary. The company owes the American people more than just an explanation – we need to see action to bring down the cost of this drug so it is accessible to those who need it.”
Mylan has put forward a series of steps they purport would increase access to EpiPens, but none of these options offer a real solution. For example, on August 29, Mylan announced that they would produce a generic version of EpiPen to help increase access. The price of the generic EpiPen is three times higher than the cost of the branded EpiPen in 2007, so it will not represent a sufficient alternative to the excessive price of EpiPen.
In a letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, Brown today requested answers to a series of questions on how the price hike has impacted access to EpiPens for Ohio consumers and how their corrective actions to date will effect consumers and taxpayers. The letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Mt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Brown has offered several bills in the Senate and cosponsored efforts to bring down the costs of prescription drugs for all Americans.
The letter to Mylan is available here.