Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote to the manufacturer of the EpiPen, used for emergency treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions, to explain a steep price increase in the product in recent years. Grassley’s letter came after Iowans expressed concern to him about the prices. Grassley also led a letter from five senators to the Food and Drug Administration, seeking details on whether alternatives to the EpiPen are in the works. The EpiPen maker, Mylan, announced that it will expand patient assistance programs for the product. Today, the company announced that it will make a generic version of the product available. Grassley made the following comment.
“This sounds like good news but the details are important to know. Consumers and Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies will want to know how widely available the generic product will be. I look forward to a written response, as specifically requested in my letter to the company, to my questions on behalf of Iowans and public health care programs about the EpiPen cost increases. I hope the response will offer details about the company’s announcements on more patient assistance and the availability of a generic product. And I continue to look for a written response from the FDA on the status of any alternatives to the EpiPen and what might have created delays in introducing those alternatives to the market.”