Mylan said it would act immediately to cut the cost of its EpiPen emergency allergy shot following pressure from politicians including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who called past price increases “outrageous” on Wednesday.

Mylan will expand already existing programs to help people with high out-of-pocket expenses, according to a statement Thursday. By using a savings card, patients will get as much as $300 toward their EpiPen 2-Pak, effectively reducing costs by 50 percent for those who were previously paying the company’s full list price. The drugmaker is also doubling eligibility for its patient assistance program.

Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch, the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, was quick to respond to the mounting political scrutiny, days after lawmakers started to express outrage about rising prices of the allergy shot and called for investigations. The criticisms, topped by Democratic nominee Clinton’s statement on Wednesday, had sent the shares down 11 percent in just three days.

“We have been a long-term, committed partner to the allergy community and are taking immediate action to help ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen Auto-Injector gets one,” Bresch said in the statement. “Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them.”

Mylan had come under fire after increasing the price of EpiPen — a treatment used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions from bee stings, food allergies or other triggers — from about $57 a shot when it took over sales of the product in 2007 to more than $600 for two auto-injectors. It was the latest drugmaker to provoke congressional ire for steep price hikes. Martin Shkreli and executives from the company he used to lead, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and executives from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International were called before congressional committees this year to explain why they bought the rights to older drugs that lacked competition and raised the prices.

Members of the Congress who began demanding explanation for the EpiPen price increases in the past days included Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging asked Bresch to turn over information used by Mylan’s board of directors related to the price increases. The panel wrote a letter to Bresch asking her to “provide a briefing to Committee staff on the pricing of EpiPen at a mutually convenient time no later than two weeks from today.” The letter was signed by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and its top Democrat, Claire McCaskill of Missouri.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: