If Mylan Pharmaceuticals executives thought their recent steps to lower the cost of its lifesaving EpiPen device would mollify Congress, they were wrong. Two different groups of lawmakers sent separate letters Tuesday demanding the drug maker provide a trove of data about various moves that were made to widen access to the device in the face of intense criticism over pricing.
The missives signal intensifying interest by Congress in the controversy over the auto-injector, which has become the latest proxy for the national debate over the cost of prescription medicines. Since buying EpiPen from another company in 2007, Mylan has continually raised the list price by 548 percent to more than $600.
However, those price hikes caught up with the company this month as parents encountered sticker shock in time for the back-to-school season. Mylan responded by expanding its discount card and assistance programs, but the moves have done nothing to deflect skepticism from many lawmakers. In one letter, a group of 20 US Senators acknowledged these moves will help some patients.