(Bloomberg) — Mylan NV’s chief executive officer will tell Congress Wednesday that although she regrets some patients’ financial difficulties affording the EpiPen allergy shot, lawmakers should still recognize that the company has increased access to the drug.
CEO Heather Bresch will testify before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and face questions from lawmakers about how the company raised the cost to about $600 for a two-pack, from $57 a shot when Mylan acquired the rights to sell the product in 2007.
The committee will stream video of the hearing live on the Web here starting around 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
“Looking back, I wish we had better anticipated the magnitude and acceleration of the rising financial issues for a growing minority of patients” who had to pay the full list price or more, Bresch said in the prepared testimony. “We never intended this.”
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Bresch pointed to what she says is a misconception about EpiPen’s actual prices, and to the measures the drugmaker took shortly after the controversy erupted several weeks ago to help lower costs, including a generic version for $300. The pricing of a drug is “opaque and frustrating,” she said, especially for patients.
While the list price — or WAC, wholesale acquisition cost — of the two-EpiPen pack is $608, Mylan takes home about $100 after rebates and fees, as well as other costs, Bresch said.
Mylan helped push policies that had schools stock the drug, which is now the dominant epinephrine auto-injector in the U.S. The company, which has a legal address in the Netherlands but is run from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, has led campaigns to get parents and children to carry the shots and raise awareness of dangerous allergic reactions that EpiPen is used to treat.
“Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance,” Bresch said in her testimony.