Wyden: EpiPen maker can’t ‘have it both ways’

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The outrage surround the drug company Mylan’s decision to hike the price of an EpiPen to more than $600 continues to grow, and Oregon lawmakers hope to do something about it.

While thanking nurses and staff and OHSU, US Sen. Ron Wyden and US Rep. Suzanne Bonamici both spoke about the price hike and Mylan’s decision to offer a generic for less money.

Mylan said they will offer more financial assistance for out-of-pocket costs and will give free EpiPens to uninsured patients.

“I don’t see the argument for having it both ways,” Wyden said. “The argument that you can be brand name when it’s helpful to you, and then you can be a generic when you don’t have to pay as much for needy, vulnerable patients. Just doesn’t wash with me.”

“We understand that pharmaceutical companies need to invest in research and development,” Bonamici said, “but there’s a lot of places where we can lower the cost of prescription drugs and make them accessible and affordable to everyone.

Lawmakers have new inquiries to see if Mylan is taking advantage of their customers.

Congressman Kurt Schrader introduced a bill in March that would speed up FDA approval of generic drugs where there is no competition. That bill is getting a second look.

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