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Published: Tue, August 23, 2016
Health | By Constance Griffith

Senators Demand Mylan Justify EpiPen Price Hikes

Senators Demand Mylan Justify EpiPen Price Hikes

Mylan noted that commercially insured patients have used its $100 savings program, with almost 80 percent getting their EpiPens for no cost.

The FTC opened a probe into Turing Pharmaceuticals for possible antitrust violations in connection with the company's decision to sharply raise the price of a life-saving drug.

Experts say several factors have contributed to the increase: There is no generic equivalent for EpiPens - the only competitor was taken off the market a year ago - and changes to high deductible insurance plans mean much higher out-of-pocket costs for many.

The cost of EpiPens from the pharmaceutical company Mylan have gone up about 480 percent, from about $100 in 2009 to more than $600 this year, according to the American Pharmacists Association. He tweeted that the price of a device that costs only a few dollars shouldn't cost families more than $600.

An EpiPen injects a pre-measured dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) that people use if they are having a unsafe allergic reaction.

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Mylan, the company that manufactures the EpiPens, has an undisputed monopoly especially after its chief competitor, Canadian company Sanofi, in the United States as Auvi-Q, recalled the EpiPens it made due to inconsistencies with the product. The severe reaction is known as anaphylaxis.

Codey, a member of the Senate Health Committee, isn't alone in his request.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley presses EpiPen maker on 400 percent price increase Senate Republicans call for DOJ action after immigration ruling Why you should care about National Whistleblower AppreciatIon Day MORE (R-Iowa) is asking the maker of EpiPens to explain sharp increases in the device's price.

Klobuchar added: "Not only should the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing, the Federal Trade Commission should investigate these price increases immediately". This especially hits hard for parents of children who suffer from severe food allergies. Many families say they haven't noticed any changes.

"Chuck Grassley has sent a letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch about the pricing of the EpiPen", CNBC's Meg Tirrell reported on this afternoon's "Closing Bell".

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