Senate panel launches EpiPen investigation

Senate panel launches EpiPen investigation
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The Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations on Wednesday announced that it is opening an inquiry into recent surges in the price of EpiPens. 

The rising cost of the device, which treats serious allergic reactions, has provoked an uproar in and outside the halls of Congress. The House Oversight and Senate Judiciary committees have also pressed EpiPen maker Mylan for answers. 

The investigation was announced Wednesday by the chairman of the Senate investigative panel, Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHarvard biz school honors Wilbur Ross GOP senators blast White House aide over trade remarks Community development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform MORE (R-Ohio), who is up for reelection this year, and the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillManchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Dem poll: McCaskill leads by 6 in Missouri Senate race The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? MORE (Mo.).

Lawmakers have so far not been satisfied with steps Mylan has taken to increase the discounts available for EpiPens and offer a cheaper, generic version. The price of EpiPens has increased more than 400 percent in recent years, to around $600. 

So far, though, lawmakers have focused on letters and asking the company questions. A legislative response to the issue of high drug prices would be more politically fraught and could open longstanding divides between the parties. 

“The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has opened a preliminary inquiry concerning Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ pricing and competition practices with respect to the EpiPen,” the committee said in a statement Wednesday. “Our review of this matter will be robust, thorough, and bipartisan. Parents and school districts in Ohio, Missouri and across the country need affordable access to this life-saving drug, and we share their concern over Mylan’s sustained price increases.”