Last year, many Iowa families became increasingly concerned about the rapidly rising price of the life-saving EpiPen Auto-Injector. The average cost for an EpiPen prescription had risen 181 percent from $161.35 in FY2012 to $453.61 in FY2016, and the total cost to the state’s Medicaid program had more than tripled in that amount of time. Like many Iowans, I started looking for answers to the seemingly inexplicable price surge that was putting such a burden on taxpayers.
I sent letters to Attorney General Tom Miller and the Department of Human Services requesting a full and immediate investigation into the drastic price increase for the EpiPen, manufactured by drugmaker Mylan, Inc. I called for an inquiry into how Mylan reported pricing information and whether or not Medicaid recipients were being overcharged for this life-saving drug.
A year later, the case against Mylan has concluded and, in a news release issued last month by the Attorney General, a settlement was reached with Mylan to resolve these allegations. The $465 million joint federal-state settlement includes a $1.5 million payout to Iowa and holds Mylan accountable for its actions.
The company knowingly misclassified EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. with federal regulators in order to overcharge our state’s Medicaid program and therefore, our state’s hard working taxpayers. By failing to properly classify the drug, Mylan was able to pay lower state and federal rebates.
I’m glad Iowa taxpayers got the result they deserved and that we were able to get to the bottom of the rising costs. For those with severe allergic reactions, an EpiPen injection can be a matter of life or death and we can’t allow pharmaceutical companies to potentially limit access by deceptively inflating costs.
The settlement also addresses claims that Mylan overcharged some entities participating in the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program. You can read the full settlement agreement here.