Mylan Pharmaceuticals has been under fire recently for the dramatic price increase — more than 500% in under a decade — for its life-saving EpiPen. The EpiPen is an autoinjector that is used in emergency situations in which a person experiences anaphylaxis as a result of a severe allergic reaction. This can mean that the person goes into anaphylactic shock, breaks out in a rash, or has great difficulty breathing.
As Business Insider writes, the price of the drug for a 2-pack, according to Truven Health Analytics, was $93.88 when Mylan purchased it from Merck KGaA in 2007. Today, not even a decade later, the cost sits just below $610. Even with the company’s $100 credit offer, many have still found the drug to be unaffordable.
It’s also a necessary drug.
Those who rely upon EpiPens to combat the allergic reactions they experience know that they can’t be without them, but what are they supposed to do if they can’t afford them?
In an effort to push back against the criticism, Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, announced that the company will offer a $300 credit to help offset the cost of the drug.
While this might sound good at first the criticism hasn’t been quieted. Instead, it’s brought light to a few important points. The first is that, for those who have insurance (and good insurance, at that), they could see that 50% reduction in cost. But what if they don’t have good insurance? In fact, what if they don’t have insurance at all?
In that case, Mylan says that there will be a plan in place so that the uninsured who require the drug can obtain it for as little as $0.
But only on a limited amount and only until December 31, 2016.
You read that correctly. Further adding fuel to the fire, Mylan’s co-pay plan appears to be nothing more than a coupon code. It’s only good for up to three 2-pack cartons. And it expires on December 31, 2016.
So you have four months to hoard those EpiPens before the offer runs out.
And what about those who are on Medicaid and Medicare?
Unfortunately, there is currently no discount available to these patients; they are responsible for the full $600+ cost.
The criticisms extend to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, herself, as more comes out about her background, requirements for EpiPen, and salary increases as the cost of the drug has soared. An article on U.S. Uncut reports that her salary was $2,453,456 in 2007. In 2015 that figure had jumped 671% to $18,931,068.
#MylanCEO Trends as Critics Speak Out Against EpiPen Price Gouging
— Rebecca Jarvis (@RebeccaJarvis) August 25, 2016
Here's to hoping the #mylanceo goes on safari gets stung by some freak bug and they haven't pre-stocked an epi-pen because of its price!!!
— Dj Rew (@djrewmusic) August 25, 2016
#MylanCEO says "system" is cause of Epi Pen cost; what about her crony capitalism plan to legally require her product and jack up the cost?
— Jim Whitfill (@jwhitfill) August 25, 2016
— Gary Beker (@funnyguy409) August 25, 2016
— Annie Land (@AnnieLand_) August 25, 2016
— SouthernRock (@SouthernRock3) August 25, 2016
— (((tara))) (@tarawdubs) August 25, 2016
— Joey Burnett (@JoeyBurnettRVA) August 25, 2016
— Sugar Bayou (@Uberdiva) August 25, 2016
Remember when Kanye talked about his brand and how hard it was to manufacture? That's the exact same problem with this situation.#MylanCEO
— AJ (@shotxdoubleaj) August 25, 2016
— Matt Falcione (@PghPuckTender62) August 25, 2016