EpiPen Price Hike Costs The Pentagon Millions

EpiPen Price Hike Costs The Pentagon Millions

The stock price of Mylan is soaring, but the pharmaceutical company might not be out of the woods yet. After a winter of bad headlines, Congressional testimony and agreements to pay back millions to the US government, the Pentagon is looking at how much Mylan has been overcharging since 2008.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mylan recently came under fire for price gouging after jacking up the price of the EpiPen in the US from $US57 ($75) in 2007 to over $US600 ($791) today. The lack of a generic alternative was just one of the many reasons that Mylan got away with it. The CEO even had to testify in front of Congress, and ultimately pay back $US465 million ($612.4 million) for ripping off Medicare. But now people are taking a look at how much money Mylan may have overcharged the Pentagon. The answer? About $US54 million ($71.1 million).

Reuters obtained documents from the US Department of Defence outlining the amounts that the Pentagon has been paying over the past eight years. While the government gets a discount on EpiPen at military treatment centres, members of the military don’t get that discount at retail locations, despite the DoD footing the bill. Mylan and the Department of Defence are now talking about what should be done about it.

Much like in the case with Medicare, Mylan has also been classifying the EpiPen as a generic drug, despite the fact that it’s clearly a name brand. That means that the company actually makes more profit from each sale. Mylan has announced the impending introduction of its own generic EpiPen after the CEO was grilled by Congress.

The $US54 million ($71.1 million) may seem like a drop in the bucket when it comes to defence expenditures, but it highlights the need for more oversight of the pharmaceutical industry. Because when even the government is getting screwed, what chance does the average consumer have?