Commentators Struggle to Figure Out Reason for EpiPen Price Increase

By: Lindsey Marie Round

In the wake of a dramatic increase in the price of Mylan’s well-known EpiPen, many articles have been published addressing the public’s concerns, analyzing the situation, and trying to understand the cause of this change. In particular, the article Mylan Tries Again to Quell Pricing Outrage by Offering Generic EpiPen was published by The New York Times addressing Mylan’s response to the issue.[1] Mylan’s attempts to remedy the situation by introducing its own cheaper, generic version of the drug in the upcoming weeks. Since there are currently no significant competitors in the market, this will give consumers another option to choose from.[2] However, this idea has been received with much skepticism, and people are wondering why Mylan does not just cut the price of the brand-name product. Many times brand-name companies will proactively come out a generic version of their drug before competitors introduce generic products to try to continue to receive some revenue that would inevitably be lost to the competitor.[3] However, where there is no current competitor, the reasoning behind this approach has been met with suspicion. More progress regarding the generic option and this healthcare issue are expected in the upcoming weeks as the FDA and Mylan continue to offer new information and insight. It appears that this issue may be the beginning of pharmaceutical and insurance company reforms, which is a hot topic in politics during this election cycle.

[1]Andrew Pollack, Mylan Tries Again to Quell Pricing Outrage by Offering Generic EpiPen, N.Y. Times (Aug. 29, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/business/mylan-generic-epipen.html.

[2] Id. (In 2012, litigation ensued which allowed another pharmaceutical company, Teva, to introduce a generic EpiPen beginning in 2015. However, Teva’s product was rejected by the FDA which left Mylan as a monopoly in the field.)

[3] Id.