How EpiPen’s Price
Rose and Rose

By Cynthia KoonsCynthia Koons, Michael KellerMichael Keller and Robert LangrethRobert Langreth
September 1, 2016

EpiPen maker Mylan NV has been taking a lot of heat lately for steadily increasing the price of the emergency allergy injection prescribed millions of times a year to Americans. Since the company acquired the rights to the drug in 2007, it’s raised the per-dose list price from about $50 a shot to $304 today. Those without insurance or with a high-deductible plan could pay the full list price of over $600 for a two-pack, the only way EpiPens are currently sold. The EpiPen now generates about $1 billion a year for Mylan.

Mylan offers insurers discounts that lower the net amount it receives compared to the list price. Since 2012, the first year after Mylan switched to selling EpiPen only in two-packs, both net and list prices have risen faster than inflation, according to estimates from SSR Health, an investment research firm. Mylan’s share of the proceeds has risen more slowly, however, likely due to increasing rebates after competition appeared in 2013. By increasing the list price, Mylan can provide significant rebates to some customers to maintain its favored status without hurting sales.

Mylan disputed SSR Health’s price estimates. It said that its net price for a single EpiPen was $137 in the second quarter of 2016.

On August 29, Mylan announced a forthcoming generic version priced at $300 for a two-pack, but that’s done little to stem the controversy over the price hikes.

Methodology

SSR Health estimated annual net sales for EpiPen, which Mylan does not disclose, by apportioning revenue in Mylan’s specialty division according to gross sales for each product in the division. It then divided the sales figures by the number of individual pens sold to arrive at an estimated average net price for each year. These are compared to average annual list prices. For 2016, the estimated net and list prices are averaged over the first half of the year.