The maker of the Epipen, used for the emergency treatment of anaphylactic shock, is facing a federal anti-trust investigation after lawmakers were alerted to a massive price increase last year.
According to the Washington Post, Mylan, the maker of the injectable drug, admitted that the Federal Trade Commission requested information from them months ago “as part of a preliminary investigation.”
Mylan has been under scrutiny after raising the price of the EpiPen more than 500 percent in recent years, to over $600 per two-pack.
Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. Bresch helped engineer the bump in prices after taking over as head of the company.
At issue now are accusation that Mylan may have tried to halt competition while reaping huge profits.
Mylan is already under scrutiny by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who opened an investigation into their business practices last September, accusing the company of inserting “potentially anticompetitive terms” into its sales contracts for Epipen “with numerous local school systems.”
By law, those schools must keep EpiPens on hand for the protection of children.
A spokesperson for Mylan dismissed the accusations of illegal actions, calling them “without merit.”
“Any suggestion that Mylan took any inappropriate or unlawful actions to prevent generic competition is without merit,” spokesperson Nina Devlin said in a statement. “”We note that the epinephrine auto-injector market is and always has been competitive, with multiple products competing on the market since we acquired EpiPen Auto-Injector.”
Devlin added, “Further, Teva has had patent licenses to launch their proposed generic alternative to EpiPen Auto-Injector since June 2015, pending FDA approval, years prior to patent expiry.”
In October, Mylan agreed to pay a $465 million settlement, without an admission of wrongdoing, with the Justice Department over claims the company over-billed Medicaid by misclassifying the EpiPen in order to take advantage of a federal drug rebate program.