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Mylan Expands EpiPen Cost-Cutting Programs, Pushes for Insurance Reform

Mylan CEO Defends Price of EpiPen, Insists Company Isn't Price-Gouging 2:41

Mylan is taking "immediate action" to ensure availability of EpiPens, CEO Heather Bresch told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.

"I think that we responded this morning, first and foremost, ensuring that everyone who needs an EpiPen has an EpiPen," Bresch said.

EpipPen backlash: Will price-gouging allegations spur government investigation? 2:52

Mylan on Thursday announced plans to boost access to its EpiPen Auto-Injector by expanding already existing programs for patients who are facing higher out-of-pocket costs.

The company is reducing the cost of EpiPens through the use of a savings card which will cover up to $300 for the EpiPen 2-Pak.

Patients who were previously paying the full price for the EpiPen will have their out-of-pocket cost cut by 50 percent. Mylan also is doubling the eligibility for its patient assistance program, which will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for uninsured and under-insured patients and families, as well.

"We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement. "Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them."

Read More: Senators Demand Mylan Justify EpiPen Price Hikes

Bresch noted, however, that price is only one part of the problem that Mylan is addressing. "All involved must also take steps to help meaningfully address the U.S. health care crisis," she said, "and we are committed to do our part to drive change in collaboration with policymakers, payors, patients and health care professionals."

Bresch told CNBC that the healthcare system is in crisis, causing the patient to pay for full retail prices at the drug counter and rising premiums on their health insurance. She said that this creates a bubble that is going to burst.

"No one's more frustrated than me," she said. "My frustration is, the list price is $608. There is a system. I laid out that there are four or five hands that the product touches, and companies that it goes through before it ever gets to that patient at the counter. Everyone should be frustrated. I'm hoping that this is an inflection point for this country."

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In addition, Mylan is taking the following immediate actions to help further address the needs of patients and families:

  • Doubling eligibility for the patient assistance program to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This means a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for their EpiPen Auto-Injector.
  • Continue to offer the EpiPen4Schools program, launched in August 2012, which has provided more than 700,000 free epinephrine auto-injectors nationwide.
  • Working on giving patients the ability to order EpiPens directly from the company, thereby reducing the cost.