Hillary Clinton Statement on EpiPen Pricing

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Hillary Clinton called out drug maker Mylan for the increase in the price of its EpiPen product. An EpiPen is used to prevent anaphylactic shock by those with serious allergy attacks. The active drug in the product, the hormone epinephrine, costs less than $1 for the amount in a single dose. Yet, researchers note that the price of the EpiPen has increased 400% over the past few years with one EpiPen costing $57 in 2007 and a two pack of EpiPens costing $600 today. Clinton is not alone in asking Mylan for explanation. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Claire McCaskill of Missouri have also sent letters to the manufacture. Late last year, Clinton proposed updates to prescription drug regulations that will prevent drug makers from overcharging for medications. A copy of Clinton’s statement is below.

“Millions of Americans with severe allergies rely on their EpiPens.  When an allergic reaction leads to anaphylactic shock, a shot of epinephrine can literally be the difference between life and death.  But now, just as parents are about to send kids with severe food and insect allergies back to school, the EpiPen’s manufacturer is hiking its price to an all-time high.

Over the last several years, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has increased the price of EpiPens by more than 400%.  They’re now charging up to $600 for a two-EpiPen set that must be replaced every 12-18 months. This both increases out-of-pocket costs for families and first responders, and contributes to higher premiums for all Americans and their employers.

That’s outrageous — and it’s just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers. I believe that our pharmaceutical and biotech industries can be an incredible source of American innovation, giving us revolutionary treatments for debilitating diseases.  But it’s wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising prices without justifying the value behind them. 

That’s why I’ve put forward a plan to address exorbitant drug price hikes like these.  As part of my plan, I’ve made clear that pharmaceutical manufacturers should be required to explain significant price increases, and prove that any additional costs are linked to additional patient benefits and better value.  Since there is no apparent justification in this case, I am calling on Mylan to immediately reduce the price of EpiPens.

In addition, when it comes to treatments like delivering epinephrine that have been available for decades, my plan encourages the production of alternative products.  That’s how we can harness the power of competition to keep drug prices at a level that all Americans can afford.”

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News Source: The Verge

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