Mylan boosts EpiPen patient programs, doesn’t budge on price
Published 8:47 am Thursday, August 25, 2016
Mylan is bulking up programs that help patients pay for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment after weathering heated criticism about an average cost that has climbed more than 600 percent over the past decade.
But the drugmaker didn’t budge on its price, which has drawn ire both in Congress and from families that have had to shell out increasingly large sums for the potentially life-saving treatment.
That means the insurers and employers that pay the bulk of the EpiPen cost for many patients will continue to do so, contributing to higher health insurance costs.
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“That’s just going to come out in the premiums,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “Everybody suffers, except the Mylan investors.”
The average price of a two-dose EpiPen package climbed to about $608 earlier this year, up from around $94 nine years ago, according to the Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ Gold Standard Drug Database.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told CNBC Thursday that lowering the price was not an option.
“Had we reduced the list price, I couldn’t ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen gets one,” she said.
EpiPens are used in emergencies to treat severe allergies that can lead to anaphylactic shock. Roughly 40 million Americans have severe allergies to spider bites, bee stings and foods like nuts, eggs and shellfish.