Cummings: Drug Pricing Bills Won't Move This Year

Cummings: Drug Pricing Bills Won't Move This Year

The price of an EpiPen two-pack has risen from about $100 in 2009 to around $600 today, according to medical literature and various pharmacies across the nation. Chaffetz seemed baffled when Bresch attempted to argue that Mylan doesn't actually make that much profit on the drug.

Mylan isn't the first to stand in front of government officials and defend their through-the-roof prices, but some are hoping they might be the last.

The company also failed to acknowledge its poor 2014 say-on-pay result and list feedback received from shareholders, according to a report from the investor services company. "I wish we were talking about why. this same thing from the same manufacturer costs $350 in Europe", said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.).

"I think you all have behaved very badly and invited government regulation", Farenthold lectured the CEO.

At today's hearing, Bresch admitted she received about 18-point-9 million dollars as Mylan's CEO a year ago alone.

"Trying to dive into the depths of individual drug pricing was not something I set out to initially do", Chaffetz said at the start of the hearing. She defended her pharmaceutical company's actions in response to the pricing firestorm - which include expanded patient assistance programs along with the imminent launch of a generic version of the EpiPen device set at $300 (or half the cost).

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But representatives on both sides of the aisle argued that the price could prevent people with fatal allergies from getting the treatment they need and that Mylan's pricing strategy is unclear. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has written several letters to Mylan demanding answers. Others have suggested that the USA needs to implement price controls on life-saving drugs. The list price of EpiPens has grown to $608 for a two-pack, an increase of more than 500 percent since 2007.

Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee, who describes himself as a pro-business Republican, said he was "sickened" by the greed at Mylan. "I think it's disgusting". "You take your punches but then go on and keep raising the prices".

No one begrudges Mylan making a profit. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs probably has negotiated a special price for EpiPens.

According to Marianne Udow-Phillips of Center for Healthcare Research and Partition, University of MI, the profit margin enjoyed by Mylan from EpiPen will fluctuate as per the payer.

Mulvaney also took Bresch to task for the company's successful effort to lobby Congress to give states financial incentives to maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine auto-injectors in their public schools; the so-called "EpiPen" bill was signed into law in 2013 by President Obama. "Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance".

"You get what you deserve", Mulvaney said. "Here is but another example of a lifesaving drug that you have to have - if you don't have it you're going to die - and there's no competition", said Chaffetz. "But this whole drug pricing system that we have right now makes no sense to me, and a free market can't operate in a system where people like me, who are consumers, don't understand it".

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