People around the world depend on their EpiPen to work in the case of life-threatening allergic reactions. But two people recently found out the hard way that their EpiPens were faulty. As a result, the makers of EpiPen are recalling over 81,000 EpiPens in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Japan.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, seen lying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on 21 September 2016 (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Mylan sent Gizmodo the following statement:
Mylan issued a voluntary recall for one lot of EpiPen® Auto-Injectors (5FA665) distributed in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan. This lot was not distributed in the U.S.
Mylan and manufacturing partner, Meridian Medical Technologies, initiated the voluntary recall after receiving two reports of failure to activate the device due to a possible defect. The confirmed reports were received from Europe and Asia Pacific. The recall is a precautionary measure.
As Mylan's Australian website notes, the "recalled product was manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies in St. Louis Missouri, USA," however Mylan is not recalling the EpiPen in the United States.
Patients in the affected countries can reportedly exchange their EpiPen auto-injectors for new ones.
Mylan, the drug company that makes EpiPens, has been overcharging Medicare and Medicaid in the US for years. But today the pharmaceutical company had to finally pay the piper. In a deal announced by the notorious price-gougers, Mylan will hand over $US465 million ($611.8 million) to the US government, but it won't have to admit any wrongdoing.
EpiPen came under intense scrutiny last year after Mylan purchased the product in 2007 and proceeded to raise the price by roughly 600 per cent. Consumers were outraged by this price-gouging and Mylan executives had to testify in front of US Congress. As it turns out, the CEO, Heather Bresch, blatantly lied to Congress during her testimony.
The company introduced a generic alternative for half the price in the US, (which ironically Mylan makes more money on due to America's backwards reimbursement rates), but the generic is also not affected by the recall in the US. What's the difference between Mylan's generic EpiPen and the name brand product? About $US300 ($391) and a different label. Otherwise, they're exactly the same.