Taxpayers Were The Largest Purchaser of EpiPens Last Year

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Oct 09, 2016 12:38 PM
Taxpayers Were The Largest Purchaser of EpiPens Last Year

Perhaps this is the reason the price of lifesaving EpiPens increased so dramatically: the single-largest purchaser of the pens in 2015 were taxpayers.

The largest source of Mylan's increased revenue came from increased spending from Medicaid and Medicare for the devices. The price of the EpiPens has increased by over 400 percent since Medicaid and Medicare became a larger percentage of EpiPen's revenue.

"The majority of Mylan's EpiPen revenue growth came from Medicare and Medicaid," Senator Chuck Grassley told NBC News in a statement after the Iowa Republican's office published an analysis of newly released data on rebates paid by the drugmaker to the government.

The two programs, which help cover healthcare costs for the poor and elderly, are funded by taxpayer dollars.

From 2011 to 2015, government spending rose from being 23 percent of Mylan's EpiPen revenue to 53 percent, according to Grassley's analysis of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) figures disclosed this week.

At the same time, the price the government paid for the emergency allergic reaction treatment rose by 463 percent.

Curious.

Obviously a company has no qualms with increasing (and over-charging) the price of something when the government is willing to buy a large quantity. Private consumers, however, are the ones getting screwed.