On Monday, 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. On Wednesday, Grassley led a letter from five senators to the Food and Drug Administration, seeking details on whether alternatives to the EpiPen are in the works. Grassley made the following comment on the announcement today from the EpiPen maker, Mylan pharmaceuticals, that it will expand patient assistance programs for the product.
“The announcement today doesn’t appear to change the product price. The price is what Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies pay. It’s what patients who don’t get assistance cards pay. And when drug companies offer patient assistance cards, it’s usually not clear how many patients benefit. Regardless of today’s announcement, I look forward to a written response, as specifically requested in my Monday letter, to my questions on the EpiPen cost increases.”