EpiPen is drug manufacturer Mylan’s best known product for not only its prominence in the pharmaceutical market, but the controversy surrounding the dramatic price increases over the years. In 2009, the wholesale price of two EpiPens was about $100. By May of 2016, the price rose approximately 500 percent to $609.
The manufacturer of the disposable, pre-filled injector that administers epinephrine to counteract allergic reactions faced a public relations firestorm over the cost jump. Their practices also launched a nationwide debate over soaring drug costs at Mylan and throughout the industry.
The New York State Attorney General launched an investigation into Mylan’s EpiPen4Schools program in New York for possible violations of antitrust laws. Tipped off by Sanofi in 2014, federal investigators also looked into their business practices. Mylan’s rival also filed a False Claims Act complaint on behalf of the government.
The investigation led to Mylan facing accusations of overcharging the government and improperly classifying the brand name drug EpiPen as generic medication.
On August 17, Mylan and federal investigators finalized a $465 million settlement, resolving all potential Medicaid rebate liability allegations by the federal government. It also closes potential claims by certain hospitals and allocates the funds to Medicaid programs in all states.
For their efforts, Sanofi will receive $38.7 million plus a portion of the states’ recovery.
Yet, for some lawmakers at the local and federal level, the penalties were not enough and included no admission of any wrongdoing by Mylan. However, the drug manufacturer did decide to introduce an authorized generic version that costs half as much as the brand name.