Mylan: We’ll expand programs that lower EpiPen costs

Last Updated Aug 25, 2016 12:43 PM EDT

NEW YORK – Mylan, now in the crosshairs over severe price hikes for its EpiPen, says it will expand programs that lower out-of-pocket costs by as much as half.

Mylan N.V. said Thursday that the patient cost will be reduced through a savings card that will cover up to $300 for an EpiPen 2-Pak.

The company said this savings card would benefit patients in “health plans who face higher out-of-pocket costs.”

The company said it’s also doubling eligibility for its patient assistance program, which it said will get rid of out-of-pocket costs for uninsured and underinsured patients and families. “Mylan also is doubling eligibility for our patient assistance program to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This means a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for their EpiPen Auto-Injector,” the company said in a statement.

Patients will also be able to order the injected emergency medicine for severe allergic reactions directly from the company, to help lower costs.

Mylan (MYL) has hiked prices for EpiPen as frequently as three times a year over the past nine years. The list price for a two-pack is more than $600.

On Wednesday, the issue surfaced on the campaign trail, when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton issued a statement Wednesday calling Mylan’s price increases “outrageous” and called for the company to slash prices.    

Lawmakers in Washington are pressing Mylan to explain why EpiPen prices have surged nearly 500 percent in recent years. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who is also the father of Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, on Thursday expressed concern about rising prescription drug costs. 

“Today I heard Mylan’s initial response, and I am sure Mylan will have a more comprehensive and formal response to those questions‎,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing their response in detail and working with my colleagues and all interested parties to lower the price of prescription drugs and to continue to improve our health care system.”