According to the senator’s news release, a pack of two pens cost about $100 in 2009. Now that same pack costs $500 to $600.
Klobuchar said this increase comes as Mylan Pharmaceutical – which owns the special auto injector that makes EpiPens easy to use – became a monopoly in the market.
“Mylan Pharmaceutical is exploiting a monopoly market advantage that has fallen into its lap,” Klobuchar said in a statement.
So the senator is calling for a Judiciary Hearing on the matter as well as an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission to see if any laws have been violated, according to a Facebook post.
Then she wants the Commission to explain to Congress why prices have skyrocketed and suggest a solution. Klobuchar asks that it be done within 90 days.
The Washington Post says Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has also spoken out on the issue. So has Bernie Sanders.
Why is it so expensive?
According to Forbes, the epinephrine itself isn’t what’s expensive – and the drug is the most important part.
What’s pricey – or at least raises the costs – is the auto injector pen which only one company has the rights to.
So basically, you’re paying for a system to perfectly calibrate $1 worth of epinephrine.
Forbes says there are other ways to inject the medication, like a syringe. However, it might not be as safe because the dosage isn’t calibrated. Also, injecting into a vein – as opposed to muscle, like you do with an EpiPen – is more dangerous.
Additionally, a syringe full of epinephrine goes bad after about three months, according to Consumer Reports. An EpiPen lasts about a year.