Mylan is taking flak for the high price of its EpiPen epinephrine auto-injector, which is used to treat anaphylactic shock resulting from allergies.
When the company acquired EpiPen from Merck KGaA in 2007, the decades-old product, already dominating the market, had a wholesale price of $47 to $57 per unit and annual sales of roughly $200 million. A staggering 17 price increases later, the product’s list price is now 548 percent higher, according to Truven Health Analytics, at $608.61 for a two-pack (the only way the product has been sold since 2010).
Mylan’s top-selling product, EpiPen garnered more than $1 billion in annual net sales (globally) the last two years—and it still has almost no competition. Mylan lobbied for federal legislation passed in 2013 that provides states with incentives to have schools stock epinephrine auto-injectors. Of note, EpiPens expire after about a year.
In response to recent criticism of the product’s price, Mylan said it would expand access to and increase the benefits of its discount programs to make EpiPens more affordable for consumers, but those steps won’t affect the prices insurers and employers pay.
The firm’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is a daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).