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Carlucci Legislation Aims To Curb Price 'Gouging' For EpiPens

Sen. David Carlucci, D-Westchester/Rockland, announces in Briarcliff Manor Friday that he has introduced legislation aimed at curbing "gouging" for life-saving devices such as the EpiPen.
Sen. David Carlucci, D-Westchester/Rockland, announces in Briarcliff Manor Friday that he has introduced legislation aimed at curbing "gouging" for life-saving devices such as the EpiPen. Photo Credit: Provided

Sen. David Carlucci (D-Westchester/Rockland) says he has a bone to pick with the company that sparked outrage by jacking up the price of EpiPens.

The senator, who is the parent of a child with allergies, and other health advocates gathered in Briarcliff recently to unveil legislation aimed at curbing “price gouging.”

According to Carlucci, Mylan has raised the price of the life-saving device 17 times since 2007.

The initial cost for a two-pack of the autoinjector device was approximately $57 and has now skyrocketed to $600 or more, the senator said.

Mylan raised the price by more than 400 percent since it acquired the brand, and much has been made in the media of the pharma giant’s CEO’s salary, which reportedly has risen more than 600 percent to $19 million in 2015.

According to a report by Fortune, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he is launching an antitrust probe into Mylan’s contracts with schools over possible anti-competitive language.

Epinephrine is used to counter anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction.

Carlucci said that its price -- up 32 percent in the past year alone -- has “forced some families to make difficult choices in order to afford the life-saving medicine.”

He has introduced legislation that would give the state’s attorney general control over the pricing of epinephrine and the ability to issue fines of up to $500,000 to violators.

Among those joining Carlucci in front of the Value Drugs Family Center and Pharmacy Friday was Ben Zebelman, the parent of a child with allergies.

“Anyone that has a child knows that multiple sets of the EpiPen are required and every year we need to purchase additional sets because they expire,” Zebelman said.

Ossining EMS chief Nick Franzoso echoed Zebelman’s sentiments, saying that the drug “needs to be affordable for families."

“When we show up to a scene where someone is having a severe allergic reaction, it makes our jobs easier when an EpiPen has been administered. It gives us more time and ultimately saves lives,” he said.

Carlucci said he carries an EpiPen for his son, and “cannot imagine walking out the door with him every day and not carrying one.”

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