EpiPen prescriptions spike in August despite pricing controversy

Prescriptions for Mylan's life-saving EpiPen medications have increased over the past four years, peaking every year in August. Last month, the number of prescriptions surpassed totals from the previous three Augusts, according to a report from athenahealth.

Mylan typically sells the most EpiPens in August thanks to back-to-school purchases, as 70 percent of the prescriptions filled are for people 18 and younger, according to the report. The analysis examined data based on prescriptions written for more than 48,000 patients by more than 1,100 physicians.

Data showed that EpiPen prescriptions in the first three weeks of August represented 21 percent of total prescriptions for the year to date. Prescriptions given during the same time period last year represented 17 percent of all prescriptions.

The total number of EpiPen prescriptions for the year was also 13 percent higher compared to the same period last year, according to the report.

"As the prices have increased, the demand has increased as well, which is exactly the opposite of what you'd expect to see given the laws of price and demand," Josh Gray, vice president of research at athenahealth, said in a CNBC report.

"I really think this just reinforces the observation that the growth of EpiPens [prescriptions] has been seemingly imperious to their price increases … I can't see evidence that they're taking price into account, at least as it affects overall volume figures," he said.

More articles on supply chain:

Industry expert: EpiPens only cost $20 to make
New ad campaign defends drug industry's pricing tactics.
Allergan CEO pledges 'social contract' on drug prices

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