EpiPen Manufacturer to Provide Savings Cards to Help Consumers Save on Cost of Device
Mylan committed to expansion of savings programs after political pressure and falling stock prices
After coming under intense political scrutiny and seeing its stock prices drop sharply, the manufacturer of the EpiPen says that it will take action immediately to cut the cost of the emergency medical device.
Mylan already has programs in place to help patients alleviate high out-of-pocket expenses, reports Bloomberg, and now the company is committing to expand those programs. According to a press release issued by Mylan, the company will offer a savings card worth up to $300 to patients whose insurance plans require them to pay high costs out-of-pocket, in effect reducing the cost by 50 percent. Furthermore, it is doubling current eligibility for its patient assistance program to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which the company claims will "eliminate out-of-pocket costs for uninsured and under-insured patients and families". Finally, it is opening a "pathway" that will enable patients to order the EpiPen directly from the company.
Several members of Congress and patient advocacy groups have called on Mylan over the past three days to explain the staggering hikes in the price of the allergy shot, which increased by more than 400 percent over the course of nine years. These demands, including one from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, affected the price of the company's stock and sent the shares tumbling by 11 percent, says Bloomberg.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, who faced her own scandal in 2008 when it was discovered that administrators at West Virginia University had falsified Bresch's transcripts to award her a master's degree that she had not earned, issued a statement in the company's press release re-affirming its commitment to provide an EpiPen to every patient who needs one.
"We have been a long-term, committed partner to the allergy community and are taking immediate action to help ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen Auto-Injector gets one," she stated. "We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter. Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them."