Much has been made in recent weeks of what the media has characterized as manufacturer Mylan’s steep,soaring, and massive price increase of the EpiPen, an epinephrine injection system that provides emergency treatment for life threatening allergic reactions. More specifically, the Guardian reported that when Mylan acquired the rights to EpiPen in 2007, the price was $56.64. Since then, that price has increased 461 percent, to $317.82. Quoting a letter that several Democratic senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, sent to Mylan’s chief executive officer, Heather Bresch, the paper highlighted the issue:
[M]aking sure the EpiPen is readily available for use is a critical part of life for millions of Americans living with severe allergies…The EpiPen, however, has become so exorbitantly expensive that access to this life-saving combination product is in jeopardy for many Americans. Mylan’s near monopoly on the epinephrine auto-injector market has allowed [Mylan] to increase prices well beyond those that are justified by any increase in the costs of manufacturing the EpiPen.