Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Seeking Information and Investigation on EpiPen Price Surge

One of the most rewarding, yet sometimes difficult, aspects of serving in the legislature is being a voice for Iowans who have concerns and struggles affecting their daily lives.  One concern I hear regularly is the skyrocketing price of healthcare premiums and other healthcare related expenses that are forcing Iowa families to make major life-altering decisions to afford coverage and care. Most recently, I’ve heard concerns over the surging price of Mylan’s EpiPens. This life-saving device, now costing around $600, could be purchased for just $57 in 2007.

Iowans are rightly concerned about the increase in price. EpiPens have to be replaced yearly even if they are never used, which, combined with the ever-increasing cost, puts a significant burden on Iowa families whose lives depend on access to this product. Iowa taxpayers should also be concerned about how this rise in cost is impacting the state’s ability to provide coverage for EpiPens through the Medicaid and HAWK-I programs.

The state of Minnesota is currently investigating a misclassification regarding the EpiPen that is estimated to have cost taxpayers of Minnesota $4 million just this year. If their suspicions are proven true, it is likely that Iowans have also been over-charged for the EpiPen.

Due to Minnesota’s suspicions and the estimated cost of this misclassification in their state, I have submitted a letter to the Iowa Department of Human Services asking for information regarding the quantity, price, dollars spent, and rebates on the EpiPens over the last five years. I have also submitted a letter to the Attorney General’s office asking for an investigation into the potential misclassification and whether Iowans have been over-charged for this product.

Iowans deserve to know whether they have been over-charged, and if so, what proper steps should be taken to ensure reimbursement and to prevent this situation from happening in the future. It is my hope that Attorney General Miller will look into this matter.

A copy of the letter to the Department of Human Services is available here. A copy of the letter to the Attorney General is available here.

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