Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) has urged the Office of New York State Attorney General (AG) to investigate the recent price increases of epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) by Mylan Pharmaceutical. Mylan has continuously raised the list price of EpiPens, with an increase last year of more than 75%, bringing their cost to over $600.
“Prescription drug costs are increasing at a rate far outpacing other health care costs,” said Hannon in a letter to the AG. “The costs have become a top concern amongst families and individuals in need of medications, their elected officials, health plans, health providers and the state Medicaid Program.”
Hannon sponsored bill S.7022, which was also passed as part of the Senate’s one house budget this year, to prevent excessive, unjustifiable price increases in prescription medications. This legislation would also expressly grant the Attorney General authority to prosecute unconscionable and unjustifiable prescription drug price increases. Hannon will continue to work to have this bill enacted into law. He notes the AG could take similar actions under existing authority without requiring legislative intervention.
“When you have an allergy, EpiPens are necessary to save your life,” said Hannon. “Mylan knows they have the consumer’s hands tied. Obviously, people are going to purchase medication that can save their life, or the lives of their children, no matter what the cost. “
When the drug expires, people will purchase another.
“If their health plan only covers two EpiPens a year, like many do, they will bear this exorbitant cost out-of-pocket to ensure EpiPens are available in multiple locations such as school or work,” said Hannon. “Ultimately, these cost increases drive up health care costs for all consumers, health plans, and taxpayers."