Weeks after fears rising prices could leave many in serious need of a life-saving drug, New York’s attorney general announced Tuesday he is launching an antitrust investigation into EpiPen-maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals.
The state’s top prosecutor Eric Schneiderman is reportedly probing whether Mylan violated antitrust, or monopoly, laws with its EpiPen4Schools program, according to Reuters. The program gives the life-saving injectable drug to many schools for free, but the report says Mylan faces allegations of “contractually” barring schools from buying the product from the company’s competitors.
"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," Schneiderman said in a statement. "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.”
Schneiderman’s office said it had already subpoenaed documents from Mylan. As of publishing, the company had yet to make a statement regarding the investigation.
EpiPens, which contains the drug epinephrine and is used by those at risk of potentially lethal anaphylactic allergic reactions, have skyrocketed in price over the last eight years. According to NBC New York, the price for two portable shots was $100 in 2008 but this year it’s climbed to $600.
Mylan, which does have a New York-based office, tried to combat the groundswell of criticism over its rising price last month. After the company experienced a 12 percent drop its stock price, The Wall Street Journal reported Mylan would launch a generic version of its EpiPen at half the price.
Mylan has said the price increase specifically affects those who are covered by high-deductible health plans, according to The Journal, and that it was increasing the value of its EpiPen coupons to help offset the cost.