Mylan faces antitrust investigation over EpiPen
- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday said it has begun an investigation into Mylan for potential anti-competitive terms that may have been inserted into contracts with schools.
- The investigation into potential antitrust practices is the latest twist in the ongoing blowback over Mylan's EpiPen pricing practices, which have renewed criticism of the pharmaceutical industry.
- Mylan has been under attack for the last few weeks about its pricing policy for its epinephrine auto-injector, which cost $100 for two in 2007 and now costs more than $600 for the same product.
The investigation by the Attorney General is specifically into practices by Mylan of establishing contracts with local school systems which provide them with discounts, but require them to not purchase any competing products.
"If Mylan engaged in anti-competitive business practices, or violated antitrust laws with the intent and effect of limiting lower cost competition, we will hold them accountable," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement.
"Allergy sufferers have enough concerns to worry about — the availability of life-saving medical treatment should not be one of them. I will bring the full resources of my office to this critical investigation," he added.
The company has offered a program to schools for several years that provides the epinephrine auto-injectors free of charge to eligible schools—allowing the EpiPen to become a staple in virtually all school systems.
"The program continues to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. There are no purchase requirements for participation in the program, nor have there ever been to receive free EpiPen Auto-Injectors. Previously, schools who wished to purchase EpiPen Auto-Injectors beyond those they were eligible to receive free under the program could elect to do so at a certain discount level with a limited purchase restriction, but such restriction no longer remains," said Mylan in an emailed response to BioPharma Dive.
Mylan has responded quickly to public backlash by offering a $300 discount to uninsured and under-insured patients, effectively halving the price of the branded product.
As outcry continued – including a public call out from Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and several members of Congress – Mylan has said it will also offer an unbranded generic version of the EpiPen that will be available shortly.
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