EpiPen: A case study of government harm

posted by
August 31, 2016
Independent Institute
by John R Graham  
Posted in Commentary

"Much has been written about the dramatic price hikes for EpiPen, a product that injects a drug that counters severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock). ... EpiPen is complicated, being both a drug and a device. The drug is very inexpensive, and not patented. The device is protected by patents issued in 2005, which expire in 2025. First, the government made a couple of interventions in the market that allowed the manufacturer to raise prices above the free-market level. The federal government changed its guidelines such that EpiPens must be sold in packages of two (even though customers might prefer just one, or at least an odd number). Also, the feds gave public-emergency grants to states on the condition that they stockpile EpiPens. Further, the Food and Drug Administration has hindered other manufacturers' ability to compete." (08/30/16)


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