The attorney general's office in New York state is investigating whether the company that makes EpiPens has engaged in anticompetitive practices in its sales contracts with local school systems.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the investigation of Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday. A preliminary review indicated that the firm "may have inserted potentially anticompetitive terms into its EpiPen sales contracts with numerous local school systems," the attorney general's office says in a news release.
Mylan’s EpiPen is the predominant epinephrine autoinjector in the U.S. market. The device is used to administer epinephrine to an individual suffering a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
“No child’s life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or healthcare provider cannot afford a simple, life-saving device because of a drug-maker’s anti-competitive practices,” says Schneiderman. “If Mylan engaged in anticompetitive business practices, or violated antitrust laws with the intent and effect of limiting lower cost competition, we will hold them accountable."
Mylan has been the target of criticism in recent weeks because of the rising cost of its device.
The New York Times reports that the price of EpiPens has grown to $608 for a two-pack, up more than 500 percent since 2007.
In the midst of controversy over the price of the device, Mylan announced last month that it will launch a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack carton.
"We understand the deep frustration and concerns associated with the cost of EpiPen to the patient, and have always shared the public's desire to ensure that this important product be accessible to anyone who needs it," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a news release.
The company also noted that since it began its EpiPen4Schools program in 2012, more than 65,000 schools have taken part, and Mylan has distributed more than 700,000 free EpiPen Auto-Injectors.