Mylan Now Wants To Get Consumers, Taxpayers To Subsidize EpiPen Profits
I see Mylan, the price-gouging makers of EpiPen, have devised a new strategy for ripping of the poor people who rely on their product. Rather than have those people pay the outrageous price for the product, they will get taxpayers and consumers to pay instead. The proposal, put out by some doctors and non-profits, would allow the EpiPen to be added the federal list of preventive services and would thereby reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for the millions of people that need the product. Of course, EpiPen would still be charging the outrageous price for their product. But the cost would now be borne by the federal government, health insurers, and employers. And you can be sure that all three will be passing along this increased cost to consumers and taxpayers.
The Times’ story shows that Mylan is in large part funding the calls of the doctors and non-profits who are putting forth this proposal. Mylan has had remarkable success influencing government policy to their advantage, getting a law passed that mandated the pens be in every school and having states require hotels and restaurants also carry them. They are currently pushing for federal regulation to require commercial airlines to carry them.
This is what happens when you try to run a hybrid health care system that mixes public and private. Eventually, private industry can get the public to subsidize their profits, especially in this day and age where it is so easy to essentially “buy” legislation. Under a more sane system, the government would regulate the cost of the product. Of course, we never would have gotten to this point in the first place without Mylan exploiting its ridiculous patent protection.