The EpiPen price surge and allegations of the company overcharging taxpayers continues to make headlines. Just this week, it was reported that a misclassification of the EpiPen as a generic drug had enabled Mylan, the maker of the drug, to pay a lower rebate to the federal government than it would have if it was classified as a brand-name drug, potentially costing taxpayers millions.
Last month, I submitted a request to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) for information along with a request to the Iowa Attorney General to begin an investigation on the recent price surge in EpiPens. Iowans continue to have concerns over the skyrocketing cost of healthcare across the board, and with the recent overcharges to Minnesota and the federal government, Iowa taxpayers deserve to know whether they have been similarly overcharged.
I received information back from DHS in regards to the quantity and cost of EpiPen prescriptions over the past five years. As I suspected, costs have increased significantly, and there is undoubtedly a need to to continue looking into the issue. Here are the highlights from what I received from DHS:
- The average cost per EpiPen prescription has increased significantly; from $161.35 in FY12 to $453.61 in FY16. This represents an increase of 181 percent.
- The total cost to the state has also risen dramatically. In FY12, the total cost to the state for EpiPen prescriptions was $566,000 while just the first nine months of FY16 has cost the state $2.1 million.
- If the current pace continues, the state will be paying nearly $2.8 million in FY16, which is almost five times the cost of FY12.
Attorney General Miller and I have spoken about this issue, and I know that his office is interested in continuing to work together to continue gathering information. The taxpayers of Iowa deserve to know that the money is being spent appropriately and not wasted.
Click here for the response received from the Department of Human Services.