- Mark Zaleski/AP
Anger over high drug prices has put EpiPen maker Mylan in the news recently, but the company is now being investigated over another potential issue altogether.
The price of the EpiPen, a device used in emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions, has risen by 500% since Mylan acquired it in 2007.
Now, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking questions about whether Mylan violated antitrust laws with its EpiPen4Schools program, a potential issue Stat News reported on in August.
“A preliminary review by the Office of the Attorney General revealed that Mylan Pharmaceuticals may have inserted potentially anticompetitive terms into its EpiPen sales contracts with numerous local school systems,” Schneiderman’s office said in a statement.
The investigation stems from concerns that Mylan may have blocked schools participating in the EpiPen4Schools program from ordering EpiPen alternatives (such as the Adrenaclick) from its competitors.
Mylan did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the investigation, but the company previously told Business Insider that there was a “a limited purchase restriction, but such restriction no longer remains.”
Mylan is also facing a class-action lawsuit, Reuters reported. The suit, filed Tuesday, claims the price hike violated an Ohio consumer protection law.
To fend off public outrage over the EpiPen’s cost, the company recently raised its copay-coupon system to cover $300 of people’s out-of-pocket cost. The compay has also said that it would make an “authorized generic” version of the EpiPen that would cost $300 for a two-pack, half the list price of the branded drug. Mylan is also facing accusations that it overcharged Medicaid, and lawmakers have been asking for federal investigations into the price of the drug.