Consumers Union Asks FTC To Investigate Mylan For Possible Antitrust Law Violations

Image courtesy of Phillip Bradshaw

The EpiPen is a necessity for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. They’re a common item in kids’ backpacks and home first-aid kits, and the name has become a generic term that refers to epinephrine auto-injectors. Yet the product itself is only available as a brand-name product that costs hundreds of dollars.

Our colleagues over at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of our parent company Consumer Reports, join members of Congress and New York state’s Attorney General in calling for an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by Mylan, which include giving schools free EpiPens but asking them not to purchase competing products to replenish the freebies.

In a letter addressed to the Commissioners of the FTC [PDF], CU’s policy experts lay out evidence that Mylan acted to prevent competing epinephrine auto-injectors from reaching the market, and to keep customers (like schools) from purchasing the competing products that are on the market.

“There are indications that Mylan may have resorted to questionable practices to block competition and sustain its monopoly,” George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union and one of the authors of the letter, said in a statement. “The FTC has the authority to prosecute anticompetitive marketplace abuses and we urge the Commission to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate action based on what it uncovers.”

Consumers Union letter to the FTC urging an investigation into reported EpiPen price increase [Consumers Union]

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