Hillary Clinton Unveils Plan to Address ‘Excessive’ Increases in Drug Prices

By Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times | September 2, 2016

Amid an uproar over the steep increase in the cost of the EpiPen, a lifesaving injection device for people with severe allergies, Hillary Clinton announced a plan on Friday to crack down on unwarranted rises in price for prescription drugs that have long been available.

As part of the plan, Mrs. Clinton would create a team of federal officials that would seek to protect consumers by monitoring price increases. The plan also lays out several actions that the government would be able to make in response to “excessive” rises in price, including taking steps to expand access to treatments and imposing penalties on drug companies, such as fines.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen far too many examples of drug companies raising prices excessively for longstanding, lifesaving treatments with little or no new innovation or R. & D.,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement. “It’s time to move beyond talking about these price hikes and start acting to address them.”

The price of EpiPens has risen to about $600 for a pack of two, from about $100 in 2007, when the pharmaceutical company Mylan acquired the product.

Mrs. Clinton, who unveiled a plan last year to reduce prescription drug costs, has already condemned the increase in the price of the EpiPen. She deemed it “outrageous” last week and called on Mylan to immediately lower its price.

In response to the outcry, Mylan has said it will offer more financial assistance with co-payments and will expand the number of uninsured patients who can get free EpiPens. And on Monday, the company said it would introduce a generic version of the device that would have a lower list price.

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