EpiPen Makers Face Class Action Lawsuits
Mylan Pharmaceuticals faces significant criticism for the recent price-hike of EpiPen, Mylan’s life-saving allergy treatment device. The EpiPen is the most popular epinephrine autoinjector on the market due to its efficacy in treating severe allergic reactions.
Since 2007, Mylan has increased the price from under $100 to over $600, catching the attention of consumers, consumer advocates, lawmakers and other critics who believe that the price hikes take advantage of vulnerable patients.
Class action suits have been filed against Mylan for unjust enrichment, violations of various antitrust and consumer protection laws, and breaches of their duties to deal fairly and market their products in good faith. One lawsuit filed in Ohio county court alleges that Mylan’s price hikes violate the state’s consumer protection law. Another suit filed in Michigan in federal court claims that the company’s operation of selling EpiPens in packs of two is done for marketing reasons as opposed to health and safety.
Mylan responded to the criticism by announcing that it would expand access and increase benefits to programs that it uses to help consumers pay a lower price, but that insurers and employers would still have to pay the heightened list price. They also announced that they would offer a generic version of the EpiPen at half the price of the branded product. The company’s chief executive, Heather Bresch, blames the price hike on middlemen, suppliers, and the U.S. medical system in general. She claims that Mylan needs to price the product so expensively in order to make up for its investment in the EpiPen product.
This response failed to satisfy Mylan’s critics. This is partially due to the fact that two industry insiders have reported to NBC News that Mylan pays, at most, thirty dollars per device. A third expert claims that Mylan’s costs are even lower, at about twenty dollars. NBC also reports that Ms. Bresch’s salary rose over six hundred percent after the price hikes.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), an estimated 3.6 million Americans were prescribed an EpiPen in 2015. Accordingly, these recent price hikes will likely adversely affect millions of Americans who need the EpiPen to control their allergies.
If you or a loved one were affected by the EpiPen price increase, contact our office today.