Proposed bill recommends state order Epi-Pens in bulk for a lower price

Bill included in state budget that has been approved by House and Senate

Photo courtesy U.S. FDA

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s a proposal to lower the cost of Epi-Pens by buying them in bulk.

Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) drafted a bill to lower the cost of Epi-Pens. He said he wants the state to put in a large order for thousands of doses to acquire lower bulk pricing.

Epi Pen bulk purchasing plan praised

The state would then pass the discount along to fire and police departments, schools, public health entities, and other interested municipal organization.

Lesser said it’s a proven concept. In 2015, the state made a bulk purchase for the life-saving overdose drug Narcan. Epi-Pens are not new, but the drug company Mylan bought the marketing rights in 2007, causing the price for a two-pack to jump from less than $100 to more than $600.

“A child who needs an Epi-Pen doesn’t have just one,” Lesser said. “They need one in school, in the car, at home, at camp, at the grandparents house, or for after school activities, really wherever they are spending time.”

Lesser said he knows it’s only a first step to addressing the issue. He’s calling on congress to hold Mylan directly accountable.

The bill is tucked into the state budget that was approved by both the House and the Senate.

Governor Baker has until July 17th to sign or veto it.