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Congress Questioning EpiPen Price Hike

Members of Congress want the maker of EpiPens to explain why the price of the lifesaving product has risen 400 percent since 2007 and now costs as much as $600.

An EpiPen delivers a potentially life-saving injection of medicine into people suffering a severe allergic reaction.

In a letter to the pharmaceutical company Mylan, Senator Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who heads the Judiciary Committee, demanded to know the reasons for the huge price hike, The New York Times reported.

"Access to epinephrine can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children," wrote Grassley, who also noted that many children who need EpiPens are enrolled in government health care programs.

"It follows that many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote.

Previously, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, called for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the EpiPen price increase and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, The Times reported.

"Many Americans, including my own daughter, rely on this lifesaving product to treat severe allergic reactions," she wrote to the head of the commission.

Mylan has said product improvements have boosted EpiPen costs, that the devices are often covered by insurance, and that the company provides discounts, The Times reported.

Posted: August 2016


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