SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The US government may have overpaid for EpiPens by more than $1 billion dollars over 10 years.
Epi pens are used to administer the drug epinephrine, which can stop an allergic reaction.
The company who owns EpiPn, Mylan, and the U.S. Justice Department settled claims that Mylan overcharged the government for EpiPen and misclassified EpiPens as a generic product, even though they were priced at a brand-name price.
The misclassification allowed them to skip out on paying higher rebates for state medicaid programs.
“I just think it’s really sad that they would do that with any kind of drugs that is needed to save your life”, says West Springfield resident, Sherry Jones.
The price of a pair of EpiPens was raised by 600% to $600 after Mylan acquired EpiPen.
“There’s multiple new auto-injectors on the market”, says Dr. Robert McGovern, an allergist in Springfield. “The Auvi-Q, which is a talking epinephrine injector. And there’s several generics that you can also get.”
Mylan also released its own generic brand which is priced at about 300 dollars.
They did not admit wrongdoing in the lawsuit, but will reclassify EpiPen as a brand-name drug and will pay the higher rebate from April 1, 2017 on.
U.S. Senators including Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut say $435 million dollars is too small a settlement.
Senator Eric Lesser brought a program to East Longmeadow that allows EpiPens to be bought in bulk at a cheaper price.
He told 22news in a statement, “Frankly, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of dollars Mylan overcharged taxpayers and patients…”.
The CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, says the settlement will allow the company to move forward.