Chaffetz to Investigate Drugmaker over Price Hike

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee launches an investigation into drugmaker Mylan over its decision to dramatically raise the price of its lifesaving EpiPen allergy injection.

Reports The Washington Post:

The committee’s Republican chairman, Jason Chaffetz (Utah), and its ranking Democrat, Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), on Monday sent a letter to Mylan chief executive Heather Bresch requesting detailed information and communications regarding the company’s pricing of the EpiPen. The price of an EpiPen two-pack has risen from less than $100 in 2007, the year Mylan acquired the device, to $608 today.

Earlier this year, the committee held hearings to question Martin Shkreli, former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, over his decision to raise the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. The drug is used to treat severe infections in people with compromised immune systems.

The letter asks Mylan to provide a briefing by Sept. 6 that would not be public and would entail conversations between Mylan representatives and committee representatives. It also asks Mylan to provide documents by Sept. 12 about its profits from EpiPen sales, lobbying disclosure forms dating to 2007 and copies of contracts regarding the manufacture and distribution of EpiPens.

“While families and schools are struggling to keep up with your company’s unreasonable price increases, Mylan has profited richly from its pricing strategy,” the letter says.

Since the outcry over the EpiPen exploded last week, Mylan has offered two responses — it initially announced it would offer coupons to some consumers, and Monday morning said it will come out with a generic version of the product at half the cost. Both steps seem to be falling short with lawmakers.