You can add Mylan Laboratories to the list of drug makers boosting prices by big amounts.

Over the past six months, the company, which is one of the world’s largest purveyors of generic medicines, raised prices more than 20 percent on two dozen products. And Mylan also boosted prices by more that 100 percent on seven other products, according to Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, who called some of the price hikes “exceptionally large.”

For instance, he cited a 542 percent increase for ursodiol, a generic medicine used to treat gallstones. There was also a 444 percent increase for metoclopramide, a generic drug that treats gastroesophageal reflux disease; and a 400 percent boost in the price for dicyclomine, which combats irritable bowel syndrome. Mylan also raised the price of its tolterodine overactive bladder drug, one of its biggest products in the United States, by 56 percent.


The price hikes occur amid ongoing turmoil over the cost of medicines. As we noted Thursday when writing about recent Pfizer price increases, the focus has largely been on newer medicines for such hard-to-treat diseases as hepatitis C and some forms of cancer, but concerns have extended to some generic drugs, which have traditionally been lower-cost alternatives.

The issue exploded last year, when two companies — Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, which was led at the time by Martin Shkreli — were vilified for buying medicines and then jacking up prices by sky-high percentages. The growth strategy prompted congressional scrutiny and made drug pricing a talking point in the ongoing presidential campaign.

Maris noted the drugs for which Mylan raised prices considerably are a relatively small portion of its business. Still, he posited that in this environment, huge prices are “beacons for scrutiny.” He added, however, that he does “not believe the price increases come without a real cost to patients, and if this turns to headline risk, there could be an impact to reputation and shareholders as well.”

Indeed, his note may have contributed to a dip in Mylan stock, which is down more than 3 percent in midday trading.

A Mylan spokeswoman sent us a note saying the company “has always been known to have one of the industry’s broadest and most globally diversified business models and portfolios, which we have successfully managed by balancing numerous variables, including the natural price reductions that have always been inherent to the generics industry.

“A flawed analysis focusing on a small number of products out of the more than 1,400 products Mylan sells globally and the approximately 600 products we sell in North America is simply self-serving and misleading to investors,” she added. “This is especially true given that these generic products represent an extremely small percentage of Mylan’s approximately $4 billion North American generics business. Mylan’s business model is not today, nor has it ever been, premised on price hikes.”

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  • I have Sjogrens and take an old drug, Hydroxychloroquine generic for Plaquenil. It use to be a Tier 1 and is now a Tier 4. I have never paid $271.00 for 30 tablets! Is there any way I can get these cheaper? Any information would be appreciated. I can’t do the assist program.

  • I buy your product Eszopiclone 3 Mg at Costco pharmacy, today I picked
    up the same script that I got in Sept 2016 and the price was doubled from the last time I got it! Can this be possible? I am retired for 18 years and cannot afford these price’s.
    Is Costco ripping me off or are you actually doubling the price of this drug?
    May I will contact the Trump administration and tell them about this ripoff!!!!

  • Detrol LA generic copay went from $80 to $636. Call it whatever you want but it’s a national disgrace that pharmaceuticals get away with this!

  • Mylan Co. sells Epipens and thousands of other products. A community boycott of the thousands of other Mylan products has started at MylanBoycott.Net

  • Why should Mylan be any different than any other big pharmaceutical company? My wife has MS and has to start a new drug therapy. 7 total infusions at a cost of $158,000. Like having the disease isn’t bad enough, now we have to worry about weather or not we can afford it. Talk about added stress.

  • I think the public should boycott Mylan products, epi pen users can’t as its A life-and-death situation hence price gouging!!!!!

  • Mylan calls this a “flawed analysis focusing on a small number of products”. However, the “small number of products” are primarily sole source with no generic competition in the US and no marketplace alternative. Patients and providers must bear whatever price this company dictates based on their greed and a broken FDA to continue therapy with these common drugs. It is a perfect example of why healthcare is more expensive in the United States than anywhere else in the world. How much do these products in question cost in Canada or Mexico? And “yes”, we all end up paying for this.
    Mylan’s market-based approach is akin to selling ice for $100/bag after a natural disaster.

  • This analysis should be placed in context with Mylan’s confused strategy of: increasing prices in those markets where price regulation is weak (ie., the US) and bizarre acquisitions (which has raised debt). The Company wants to raise the earnings per share (EPS) to $13.00. Clued-in readers will note that Mylan uses a “non-GAAP” EPS measure (or fudge) which they can find in the annual report (Form 10K). The GAAP EPS is no where near this 13 dollar mark.

    Now couple all this with senior management with competing agendas: Mylan has a CEO and a President both claiming to be the directional voice of the Company.

    Yes, “Seeing is Believing”!

  • What is “self serving and misleading” is the Mylan response. There is NO justification for a 400% increase in pricing for generic dicyclomine.

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