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National Consumer News

EpiPen manufacturer posts third-quarter losses of $119.8M

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By Bob D’Angelo

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Mylan, the company that manufacturers the EpiPen, posted third-quarter losses of $119.8 million on Wednesday. The company, which manufactures the emergency allergy injector, had set aside over $465 million in anticipation of a settlement with the federal government over Medicaid rebates.

Mylan reported a $428.6 million profit in the same period a year earlier, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company said sales were down 4 percent for the segment that includes EpiPen, to $418 million, due to wholesalers cutting back purchases in anticipation of Mylan selling an authorized generic at half the branded product’s price.

The wholesale price of a single pen was about $47 in 2007, and it rose to $284 this summer, according to Richard Evans, a health care analyst at Sector and Sovereign Research. However, consumers can no longer buy a single pen, so the retail price to fill a prescription can easily top $633, according to GoodRx.

“I wish we had anticipated” the burden facing some patients who have high out-of-pocket costs under their health plans, Chief Executive Heather Bresch said on an earnings conference call with analysts on Wednesday. The drug payment system, she added, “needs to be completely reinvented.”

She told the Wall Street Journal that Mylan would begin selling the authorized generic EpiPen, at a list price of $300, in the first half of December.

In its SEC filing, Mylan provided more detail about a Justice Department investigation into pricing of generic drugs, saying a subsidiary “as well as certain employees and a member of senior management” received subpoenas regarding the “marketing, pricing and sale of our generic Cidofovir, Glipizide-metformin, Propranolol and Verapamil products and any communications with competitors about such products. Prosecutors are investigating whether certain generic-drug companies colluded on price, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The EpiPen has been around since 1977, but Mylan acquired the auto injector — which precisely calibrates the epinephrine dosage — in 2007, Forbes reported.

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