CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–August 26, 2016. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released the following statement on the drastic increase in the price of EpiPens:
“I am outraged by the incredibly high cost of EpiPens, a life-saving drug relied on by millions of Americans with severe allergies. There is no excuse for increasing the price of this product by 600% in seven years. As a result of these increases, families must carefully consider whether they can afford this life-or-death drug. Many children who rely on EpiPens require having multiple sets at once, and the product’s short shelf life means that EpiPens are a yearly expense. With prices reaching upwards of $600, these costs soon become absolutely unsustainable for the average American family. Egregiously raising the cost of a life-saving drug—especially one that has been on the market for decades without further research—is unacceptable.
“Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. Before the most recent EpiPen scandal, Martin Skhreli purchased the rights to Daraprim, an essential drug used to treat infectious diseases, and increased the price by over 750% overnight. But these high-profile examples are not outliers. It has become all too common for drug manufacturers to raise the price of drugs that have been on the market for years without facing significant penalties.
“Pfizer has raised prices on 133 of its brand-name U.S. products by 10% or more twice this year alone. Novartis brought the leukemia drug Gleevec on the market at $30,000 per year in 2001, and now retails it for over $100,000. Bristol-Myers Squibb has made $435 million in revenue over three years from price increases alone. Drug companies raise prices because they can – and it’s time for Congress to do something to change that.
“For too long, drug manufacturers have been content to operate under a veil of secrecy, charging patients and public insurance programs as much as they want for the drugs we desperately need. The drastic increase in the price of EpiPens is only the latest example of price gouging by drug corporations. If Congress does not take action, it will not be the last.”
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