PITTSBURGH, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Mylan N.V., makers of the anti-allergic reaction EpiPen, announced programs Thursday to lower the device's cost after U.S. senators expressed outrage at the price increase.
The single-use auto-injection pens, used as dispensers of the medicine epinephrine in emergencies resulting from food allergies, were created by Merck Group in the 1970s, and were acquired by Mylan in 2007. A price increase, from $57 per pen in 2007 to about $500 per pen today, drew the anger, earlier this week, of four U.S. senators who asked Mylan for an explanation.
While the company has not responded to questions raised by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., it announced new programs to expand "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 $300 for 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."
The company added that it would continue supplying free resources to over 65,000 schools to help students with allergic emergencies. It did not address the question of the price increase.