Tester Fights to Hold EpiPen Manufacturer Accountable, Demands Drug Company Lower the Price of Life-Saving Treatment

(Missoula, Mont.)-Senator Jon Tester is fighting to hold a major pharmaceutical company accountable after it raised the price of its life-saving drug by more than 480 percent.

Tester sent a letter to Mylan Pharmaceutical Company CEO Heather Bresch demanding that the company lower the price of the EpiPen that is used to administer doses of epinephrine to patients suffering from anaphylaxis-a severe allergic reaction that can result in death. Since 2009, Mylan has raised the price of EpiPens in the United States from $103.50 a pair to $608.61 per pair, which has left numerous families unable to afford the life-saving drug.

“I am calling this what it is, Mylan is boosting their profits by holding families and sick children hostage with a life-saving drug,” Tester said after sending the letter. “Folks deserve accountability for this shameful act that is leaving thousands in jeopardy, and I won’t stop exposing their actions until patients are able to once again purchase the medicine they need at an affordable and fair price.”

Additionally, Tester slammed Mylan for raising the price of the EpiPen at the same time it moved its tax address to the Netherlands to avoid paying its fair share of taxes. Since 2007, the CEO of Mylan’s total compensation has increased by more than 670 percent.

Currently Mylan has a near monopoly on the EpiPen and the company’s price increase has even forced emergency medical first responders to begin injecting patients with epinephrine using manual syringes-a less effective way of treating anaphylaxis.

Earlier this week, Mylan announced that it will expand the eligibility for its patient assistance program and increase the value of its EpiPen Savings Card, but it is not lowering the exorbitant price of the EpiPen.

Mylan’s decision not to lower the cost of the EpiPen not only forces patients to pay more for the drug, but these additional costs will be passed on to all consumers through higher premiums and insurance rates.

In 2013, Tester helped pass legislation that ensures schools have EpiPens on hand for children who experience anaphylactic shock.

Last week Tester sent a letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s parent company Health Care Service Corporation demanding that the insurance company do more to maintain affordable health insurance for Montanans and urging the insurance provider to explore less expensive options for consumers.

Tester’s letter to Mylan is available HERE.