Here’s why Mylan could keep raising prices on EpiPen

  | September 1, 2016

Here's a little glimpse into why Mylan might have felt empowered to raise EpiPen prices so much, and so often. A study of more than 76,000 prescriptions recorded on the athenahealth network shows that over the past four years, prescriptions for the device have been steadily rising, with significant spikes every August.
EpiPen Prescription rates over time, athenaInsight
Given the patient demographics of EpiPen use — 70 percent of those August prescriptions go to patients 18 and younger — it's likely that these devices are being ordered for potential use in schools. Since there currently are no generic versions of EpiPen and few comparable products on the market, the vast majority of physicians haven't been prescribing alternatives.
EpiPens treat severe allergic reactions and require annual refills. It seems many parents feel they have little choice but to pay the rising prices, or hope their insurance companies absorb the burden.
Data analysis by Anna Zink, based on prescriptions written to over 48,000 patients by more than 1,100 doctors who have prescribed EpiPen at least once and have used athenaClinicals since 2013.

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Is this number of scripts written, or number FILLED? perhaps the price sensitivity is seen in the filled, not the number written? Docs typically don’t know or care about the prices of the drugs they prescribe.

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Steven Warwick
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I didn’t see “Callous Price-Gouging” in the article ????

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S. Miller
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Here’s why Mylan could keep raising prices on EpiPen