Klobuchar says drug price increase should spur action

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Mylan Pharmaceuticals has increased the price of a two-pack of EpiPens from $100 in 2008 to $500 today, with some consumers reportedly seeing prices as high as $600. AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she hopes the recent outcry over the increasing cost of EpiPens will lead Congress to act on stalled bills aimed at reducing prescription drug costs.

The Minnesota Democrat wants a Federal Trade Commission investigation and Senate Judiciary Committee hearings into a 400 hundred percent increase in the cost of EpiPens, which allow for self-administered treatment of severe allergic reactions.

Klobuchar is the ranking member of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which makes EpiPens,  has engaged in activities, such as using incentives or contracts with insurers, distributors, or pharmacies, to deny an alternative product access to the market.

Klobuchar says price increases for that medication and other prescription drugs underscore the need for Congress to act.

“This has gone on too long, these escalating drug prices,” she said Wednesday at a news conference at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

Klobuchar supports allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices for millions of seniors. She also wants to legalize drug imports from Canada and speed up the timeline for turning brand-name drugs into less expensive generics.