NEW YORK (AP) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that his office has launched an antitrust investigation into Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the makers of the EpiPen.
In a statement, Schneiderman's office said it found during a preliminary review that Mylan Pharmaceuticals may have inserted "potentially anti-competitive terms into its EpiPen sales contracts with numerous local school systems."
The company has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after news surfaced that the price of a two-pack EpiPen has soared, rising from approximately $100 in 2009 to around $600 and more today, according to medical literature and various pharmacies nationwide.
“No child’s life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or healthcare provider cannot afford a simple, life-saving device because of a drug-maker’s anti-competitive practices,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement today.
He continued: “If Mylan engaged in anti-competitive business practices, or violated antitrust laws with the intent and effect of limiting lower cost competition, we will hold them accountable. Allergy sufferers have enough concerns to worry about -- the availability of life-saving medical treatment should not be one of them. I will bring the full resources of my office to this critical investigation.”
A Mylan spokeswoman defended the practice of giving free EpiPens to schools, pointing out there are no purchase restrictions.
"The EpiPen4Schools(r) program provides free EpiPen(r) (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injectors to U.S. schools, and more than 700,000 free EpiPen(r) Auto-Injectors have been distributed to more than 65,000 participating schools since its inception," the spokeswoman said in a statement.
"The program continues to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. There are no purchase requirements for participation in the program, nor have there ever been to receive free EpiPen Auto-Injectors. Previously, schools who wished to purchase EpiPen Auto-Injectors beyond those they were eligible to receive free under the program could elect to do so at a certain discount level with a limited purchase restriction, but such restriction no longer remains."