PCMA CEO challenges EpiPen price hike explanation

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt spoke out regarding the controversial EpiPen price increases today.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is currently holding hearings, “Reviewing the Rising Price of EpiPens,” and questioning Mylan's justification for raising its price by 600 percent.

“For EpiPens, price concessions negotiated by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have significantly reduced costs to the system while overall average patient cost share — including both copays and coinsurance — has decreased from 26 percent of list price in 2009 to 11 percent in 2016," Merritt said.

While the percentage of the patient cost may have dropped, the wholesale cost of the life-saving medication has risen from approximately $47 in 2007, when Mylan bought the EpiPen from Merck, to approximately $284. The EpiPen is no longer available as a single dose. It is only available in a two-pack, at a retail price of approximately $633.

When word of the price increases reached social media, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch responded and argued that PBMs and wholesalers had driven up the costs of the EpiPen. In the face of continued outrage, Mylan has offered coupons of up to $300 to consumers with high deductible plans that don't cover the cost of the EpiPen.

“[A] recent Deutsche Bank report challenges the credibility of Mylan’s assertion that others in the drug supply chain are to blame for its decision to raise prices," Merritt said. "Mylan raised EpiPen prices by 600 percent even though combined costs for the rest of the supply chain (wholesalers, PBMs, retailers) are only a small fraction of that amount.”

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Pharmaceutical Care Management Association 325 7th St NW Washington, DC 20004