New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is investigating Mylan Pharmaceuticals for potential antitrust violations involving the marketing of EpiPens to schools, his office announced Tuesday.
The attorney general’s staff started looking into the matter last week, issuing subpoenas to Mylan for information about its policy of offering discounted EpiPens to schools — on condition that the schools not purchase competitive products.
STAT reported last month that Mylan offered a discount price to schools provided that the schools agree not to purchase competitive products “in the next twelve (12) months.” Legal experts told STAT that such a condition may run afoul of antitrust laws.
Mylan has told STAT that such exclusivity requirements are no longer used but would not specify when it discontinued them. One school district signed a form containing that provision as recently as April 28, 2016.
Mylan is also under pressure on other fronts over its price hikes.
The price of EpiPens has risen about 450 percent since 2004, adjusted for inflation, according to data from Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database. A two-pack now lists for more than $600. Mylan has announced several steps to try to bring down the costs for consumers, including introducing a generic version that’s identical to EpiPen except for the label. But political pressure has not abated.
Two congressional committees have requested briefings with Mylan this month.
And on Tuesday, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling for an immediate federal investigation of the company.
“The FTC must investigate whether Mylan has maintained its monopoly position through the use of these exclusive supply contracts, enabling the company to engage in price gouging for EpiPens by blocking rivals from becoming effective competitors,” the senators wrote.
The FTC confirmed receipt of this letter and declined to comment further.
Great job by STAT to bring these blatantly illegal contracts to light!
Anyone who profits excessively from health care should face interference charges !!
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