Sen. Chuck Grassley to EpiPen maker: Why the 400% price hike?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wants answers —specifically, to why the price of EpiPens has jumped 400 percent since 2007, reported The Hill.

Senator Grassley wrote a letter to EpiPen maker Mylan, asking the company to explain why patients must pay up to $700 — compared to $57 in 2007— to fill their prescriptions for the life-saving injection device.

"I am concerned that the substantial price increase could limit access to a much-needed medication," wrote Senator Grassley. "In addition, it could create an unsafe situation for patients as people, untrained in medical procedures, [to be] incentivized to make their own kits from raw materials."

He also warned that high EpiPen prices could deplete taxpayer money through coverage in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

In a statement responding to Senator Grassley's letter, Amsterdam-based Mylan mentioned its discount programs and said 700,000 EpiPens have been donated to schools since 2013.

Mylan also attributed EpiPen's steep cost to higher deductibles in insurance plans. "This shift has presented new challenges for consumers, and they are bearing more of the cost," the company said in its statement. "This change to the industry is not an easy challenge to address, but we recognize the need and are committed to working with customers and payers to find solutions to meet the needs of the patients and families we serve.

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