Murkowski Addresses EpiPen Price Controversy
Senator Calls for Pharmaceutical Company Investigation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After hearing from concerned constituents and reports that Alaskans are being charged upwards of $833 for Mylan EpiPens, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) called for an investigation into how and why the pharmaceutical company justifies EpiPen price increases. Murkowski asked Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a formal hearing on the issue in a letter (attached) that reads:
“In Alaska, everything costs more than in the Lower 48, healthcare especially, and the remote nature of many of our communities exacerbates this problem. Alaskans want to hear directly from the company, under oath, exactly how a 400 percent or more price increase for an off-patent medication is justifiable.”
In her letter, Murkowski stressed that Alaskans already deal with higher prices for energy, food, housing, and other necessities and that life-saving medication should not be added to the list.
“In our rural communities, where there is often no doctor or emergency medical services available, people need to be able to afford this medication. Over 80 percent of Alaskan communities are not on a road system, and the weather often prevents flying to a medical facility. Alaskans must have affordable, reliable access to a life-saving product. When they cannot afford it, or have put off buying a new EpiPen after their old one has expired due to price increases, death is a very real possibility. This is unacceptable.”