Mylan Pharmaceuticals is facing two lawsuits relating to its pricing of EpiPen treatments for life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
One suit, filed Tuesday in an Ohio county court, alleges that the company’s price increases — which brought the list price up to about $600 for two EpiPens — violated the state’s consumer protection law.
“Defendant has a legal duty and obligation to set a fair, affordable, and reasonable [price] and not hold consumers hostage by forcing them to pay exorbitant prices for its medically necessary product,” the complaint states.
The price of EpiPens has risen about 450 percent since 2004, adjusted for inflation, according to data from Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database.
Another lawsuit was filed on August 23 in federal court in Michigan and focuses on Mylan’s practice of selling EpiPens in the United States only in packs of two. The plaintiffs allege that Mylan packages EpiPens that way for marketing reasons, not for health and safety reasons.
“Defendants have misstated the science regarding, and regulatory framework governing EpiPens in order to require consumers to buy extra, unneeded EpiPens, which are likely to go to waste, at an inflated cost,” the complaint states.
These suits are in the early phases; in the Michigan case, the complaint hasn’t even been sent to Mylan. Attorney Sharon Almonrode, who is representing the plaintiffs, said that the complaint should be sent “within the next week or so.”
Plaintiffs in both cases aim to broaden them into class action lawsuits, meaning that rulings and verdicts would affect all members of the class. In the case of the Michigan suit, the class could potentially grow to include anyone who had to buy EpiPens in packages of two because single devices were not on the market.
Mylan is also the subject of investigation by the New York Attorney General for potential antitrust violations. Two senators have called for an immediate Federal Trade Commission investigation of the company.
Mylan did not respond immediately to a request for comment.