Sept. 20, 2016
American EpiPen Price as Much as Nine Times Higher than in Other Wealthy Countries, Public Citizen Survey Shows
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mylan’s EpiPen price in the United States is three-nine times higher than the price in other wealthy countries, according to a Public Citizen survey.
Prices for two of the product in nine other countries – the United Kingdom ($69), Belgium ($97.46), France ($98.68), the Netherlands ($105.38), Latvia ($127.75), Australia ($145.84), South Africa ($156.63), Canada ($181.81) and Germany ($210.21) – are far lower than in the U.S. ($608.61). View a chart.
Public Citizen asked pharmaceutical pricing and policy experts around the world, including academics, pharmacists, nonprofit leaders and others, to report local EpiPen prices. The prices are based on two because they are sold in the U.S. in two-packs. The prices provided are for the name-brand version, sold in some countries by other corporations, presumably through licensing arrangements.
“The EpiPen clearly is profitable at prices far lower than Mylan’s U.S. prices,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Mylan has dramatically hiked the price simply because it could – not because it needed to recover any cost of making the product.”
Mylan acquired the rights to the EpiPen in 2007 and began marketing in the United States at an inflation-adjusted $109 for two pens. The EpiPen is used by allergy sufferers to ward off potentially fatal severe allergic reactions. Mylan has boosted its price by $500 since.
“Mylan is taking advantage of millions of people who are doing their best to protect their families from life-threatening allergic reactions,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines group.
As Mylan increased the price of the EpiPen by about 450 percent, it also increased CEO Heather Bresch’s pay at a comparable though slightly steeper rate – by more than 600 percent to $19 million today.
Bresch is scheduled to appear Wednesday at a congressional hearing about price gouging and the EpiPen. Public Citizen experts can provide a needed reality check on Bresch’s testimony and discuss solutions to ensuring that people have access to the medications they need. In addition, Public Citizen will live tweet during Bresch’s testimony. Follow @Public_Citizen at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday.