Congress Grills CEO Over EpiPen Price Hikes

Epipen Maker FDA Grilled Over Price Hikes

Lawmakers grilled Mylan, the company responsible for EpiPen price hikes, at a Congressional Hearing Wednesday.

The company's CEO, Heather Bresch, was called in front of Congress to testify about the steep price increases of EpiPens. FDA Deputy Director, Douglas Throckmorton, also testified about the lack of generic alternatives of the product.

Lawmakers called Mylan's "greed" both "sickening and disgusting."

When Mylan bought the rights to EpiPen in 2007, a package of two EpiPens was about 100 dollars. Now, the package runs more than 600 dollars.

Bresch argued it's a fair price given the cost of production and money paid to the wholesaler. According to Bresch, the company’s profit after costs is 50 dollars per EpiPen.

"The misconception about our profits is understandable, and at least partly due to the complex environment in which pharmaceutical prices are determined," Bresch said.

Some lawmakers weren't buying her explanation and used the CEO's $19 million salary as a point of reference.

“They’ll fly back to their mansions in their private jets and laugh all the way to the bank,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said. “While our constituents suffer, file for bankruptcy and watch their children get sicker or die.”

According to Rep. Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, the big problem is a lack of generic alternatives for EpiPens which leads to little competition in the marketplace.

When asked how many generic versions of the EpiPen were waiting for FDA approval, Throckmorton said he couldn’t answer the question.

Bresch noted the Mylan is working on a generic alternative that will cost about $300. However, no release date has been announced.

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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