On Aug. 22, Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote to Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, with questions about the product’s price increases after hearing concerns from Iowans. On Sept. 8, Mylan responded with a seven-page letter. Grassley made the following comment on the response.
“I appreciate the information provided but it’s an incomplete response and wouldn’t satisfy my constituents who are upset about the EpiPen price increases. It doesn’t provide the full picture that I requested, and it doesn’t answer all of my questions. There isn’t much discussion of what analyses went into the price-setting in response to my question. There also isn’t much of a description of the product features and value that the company says have helped to justify the price increases. The company says a large number of patients have benefited from patient assistance programs but the outrage Congress is hearing seems to indicate that a lot of people aren’t seeing those benefits. It may be that the newly announced expanded patient assistance program will make a difference, but that’s to be determined.
“It’s important to remember that these patient assistance programs don’t apply to Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, so I continue to look forward to information on how much the taxpayers through those programs pay for EpiPens. For example, I’m interested in whether the state of Iowa overpaid for the product, the way Minnesota might have. I also continue to look forward to a written response from the Food and Drug Administration on whether competition to the EpiPen is in the pipeline there. I’ll continue to ask questions until a fuller picture of what happened with this product’s prices comes in. In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on my two pending bills that would help bring more generic drugs to the market to help consumers.”