September 16th, 2016
After the outrageous price of EpiPen sparked public outcry and the threat of a congressional investigation, Mylan pharmaceuticals took a number of steps to ostensibly make the drug more affordable. They offered to provide a voucher. They said they would come out with a generic version that cost “only” $300. And they also quietly worked behind the scenes to ensure that they could continue price-gouging.
According to a report in the New York Times, the company has been working on a campaign to add the allergy treatment to a federal list of preventative services, which would get rid of out-of-pocket costs. So Americans could obtain the drug without co-pay. That, of course, means that Mylan could keep the cost high—or even raise it—but the cost would go to health insurers and the government.
The problem is that health insurers have a way of transferring the high cost of drugs to consumers. As the Times points out, “Those costs, in turn, could be passed on to consumers in other ways, as in higher premiums or higher co-pays on other drugs.”
Hopefully, these issues will be raised when Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch is questioned by a House panel in September.