New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday his office is launching an investigation into Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., the maker of EpiPens. The investigation will determine whether Mylan is engaged in anti-competitive practices that would violate state trust laws.
The cost of this device, which is used to treat severe allergic reactions, has risen to more than $600 for a two pack. When Mylan first acquired the patent for the EpiPen in 2007, they were being sold for $100 for a two pack. The pens also expire, meaning even if they go unused, patients have to replace them every few years.
This cost hike has drawn criticism over the past few weeks - the Erie County Common Council had sent a petition to the Attorney General's office, demanding the state investigate Mylan.
So far, investigators say the pharmaceutical company might have written anti-competitive terms into sales contracts with school districts, meaning school's aren't allowed to purchase a lower cost alternative.
"No child's life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or healthcare provider cannot afford a simple, life-saving device because of a drug-maker's anti-competitive practices," the Attorney General said.
Recently, AMR Rural Metro announced it plans to stop purchasing EpiPens for their ambulances because of the rising price. Instead, it says it will use "check and inject" kits - essentially just a dose of epinephrine, a needle, and a syringe. AMR Rural metro says the switch will save about $40,000 annually.