The EpiPen Price Increase: A Deeper Look at a Complicated Story

Over the past couple of months, EpiPen’s (epinephrine) manufacturer Mylan has been under increasing scrutiny for skyrocketing the list price to over $600 for a two pack of the drug, an increase of more than 500% since 2007. The result: public outcry, multiple Senate committee meetings, and a scramble to salvage their reputation.[i]

 

What have we learned from the price increase controversy centered on Mylan’s EpiPen auto injector? What are the potential impacts or consequences for drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, health plans, and consumers? Who pays when drug prices increase, such as in this EpiPen scenario?

Examining the pharmacy supply chain can shed some light into the flow of monies. In some instances, when a retail pharmacy dispenses an EpiPen prescription for an insured patient, they have no idea how much the insurance company is paying for the drug. Moreover, the insurance company in many cases is not clear how much the pharmacy is getting reimbursed for the drug. Finally, Mylan does not receive the published list price.

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by AJ Ally at Argus-health.com