Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How Mylan Soaked Medicare and Taxpayers for EpiPen Profits


By Eric Pianin Follow
September 21, 2016


Bresch has been back-peddling for weeks following complaints from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, lawmakers and consumer groups about a marketing strategy that drove up the list price of the two-pack nearly six-fold since 2007, from $100 to $600.

EpiPen injectors generate a reported $1 billion a year in revenues for Mylan.

Mylan is just the most recent pharmaceutical company to spark a nationwide uproar over excessive drug pricing. These companies have either jacked up the retail list price of drugs that have long been on the market after acquiring their patents, which is what Mylan did with EpiPen, or have imposed sky-high prices on newly developed, highly-effective drugs such as Gilead Sciences’ hepatitis-C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni, which retail for roughly $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a course of treatment.

Expensive drugs have greatly added to the overall annual cost of U.S. health care and are posing serious economic consequences for consumers, health insurers and federal government agencies and programs.

Medicare Part D spending on EpiPen injectors, for example, grew by an astounding 1,151 percent between 2007 and 2014 – from $7 million to $87.9 million— while the number of beneficiaries rose by just 164 percent, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation released this week.

Moreover, out-of-pocket spending by seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D who didn’t qualify for income-based subsidies for EpiPen purchases nearly doubled during that period, from $30 to $56 per purchase. In the aggregate, out-of-pocket spending by all Part D enrollees who used the EpiPen increased more than five-fold between 2007 and 2014, according to the report, from $1.6 million to $8.5 million, “reflecting both an increase in the number of users and price increases for the EpiPen.” And that doesn’t include subsequent price hikes over the past two years that led to the current controversy.


No comments:

Post a Comment