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This weekly column offers opinions on the latest pharmaceutical industry news.

Among the many questionable tactics Mylan Pharmaceuticals has pursued to boost EpiPen sales has been a surreptitious lobbying campaign to have its device added to a coveted list of preventive services that is maintained by the federal government.

Here’s why this matters: If Mylan succeeds in getting EpiPen on that list, consumers would not have to make copayments, leaving insurers or government agencies to pick up that cost. That sounds like a good deal for patients. But by taking their wallets out of the equation, Mylan minimizes the chance of a public backlash to its pricing. It could likely keep raising the price of EpiPen — largely unnoticed.


This maneuvering, which was first reported by the New York Times, is perfectly legal. But the US Preventive Services Task Force — an independent, volunteer panel of 16 experts — should reject Mylan’s bid and refuse to place EpiPen on its list. The device may save patients from succumbing to life-threatening allergic reactions, but it can hardly be considered a preventive product.

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  • If this kind of proposal comes to fruition, it would broad day light robbery or something more malicious of the US taxpayer. What would be interesting which senator or congress person would support such a robbery.

    I guess profits before ethics are modus operandi. Cheers.

  • The government has the right to take private property if it is in the public interest.

    Mylan Pharmaceuticals should be seized by eminent domain and resold to a company that will agree to a contract setting a reasonable maximum rate of price hikes.

    • Mylan is doing nothing different from the lobbying tactics Merck used to push through guidelines that now require 12 year old children in DC, Virginia and Rhode Island to be vaccinated with Gardasil against HPV.

    • Hi Pharmvet1,

      Yes, although Merck initially tried a surreptitious national effort by enlisting Women in Government, a collection of elected officials, and that backfired. The playbook is the same, in any event, although the Mylan school program may have violated antitrust law, which is a different matter.


  • In the midst of this screaming election, this scheme by Mylan may just slip under the radar. Glad to see your article and agree completely this tactic by a company is not only wrong but also unnecessary. Lobbying for laws that require schools to stock their product is another tactic Mylan has undertaken to fill their coffers under the guise of saving lives. And their recent fine is a drop in the bucket of the profit they made using the wrong classification for EpiPen….why aren’t they required to return all the money they overcharged with interest?

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