EpiPen CEO discusses price hike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

EpiPen CEO discusses price hike

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch testifies before Congress Wednesday to answer why EpiPens are now so expensive, and how the company plans to make them available for people who cannot afford them.

More than 450 Iowans reached out to Senator Chuck Grassley after EpiPen maker Mylan raised prices from nearly $100 to more than $600.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz started the hearing by asking Mylan CEO Heather Bresch how much money the company makes from each pen, explaining it's a necessity and not a luxury for people.

"You don't have to talk to someone for very long to figure out you have to have this. It's not optional," (R-UT) Congressman Chaffetz said.

Bresch explains there's more to an EpiPen than meets the eye.

"This is an EpiPen. It may look simple, but it is actually very complex, and I think many people incorrectly assume we make 600 dollars off each pen. It's simply not true. "After subtracting EpiPen-related costs, our profit is 100 or 50 dollars per pen," Bresch said.

Bresch adds, Mylan plans to offer a nearly $300 generic version of the EpiPen in response to the recent price hike.

"We never intended this. We listened and focused on this issue, and we came up with an immediate solution," Bresch said.

Senator Chuck Grassley also saying Mylan needs to make the price even across the board, recommending the FDA be more proactive.

"There are steps we can take, is to put pressure on the Food and Drug Administration to get other generic drugs approved. We need to get other drugs approved. So, there's competition for Mylan," Senator Grassley said.

According to the FDA, they approved four products to treat anaphylaxis, two of which are currently on the market, and more than 2,300 drugs are currently under review.

According to Mylan, they donated more than 700,000 EpiPens to schools around the nation and offer patient assistance programs for people who have trouble paying for the drug.

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