Clinton proposes consumer response team to monitor drug price hikes

Clinton: Too many price hikes for long-standing drugs

Hillary Clinton on Friday released a new plan to combat soaring drug prices, following the latest public outcry over Mylan's some 500 percent increase in recent years of the cost of EpiPens.

"Over the past year, we've seen far too many examples of drug companies raising prices excessively for long-standing, life-saving treatments with little or no new innovation or R&D," Clinton said in a statement.

The statement cited Mylan's EpiPen price increases as the latest example.

"This is not an isolated problem," the statement said. "Between 2008 and 2015, drug makers increased the prices of almost 400 generic drugs by over 1,000 percent. Many of these companies are an example of a troubling trend — manufacturers that do not even develop the drug themselves, but acquire it and raise the price."

The Clinton campaign said the plan would:

  • Create a consumer response team to monitor drug price hikes and impose penalties for unjustified price increases to hold drug companies accountable and fund expanded access.
  • Provide for "strong new enforcement measures to respond when there are unjustified, outlier price increases that threaten public health."
  • Directly intervene to make treatments available, and support generic and alternative manufacturers that enter the market and increase competition to bring down prices.
  • Broaden access to safe, high ­quality generic and alternative competitors through emergency importation.
  • Hold drugmakers accountable for unjustified price increases with new penalties­ and using the funds to expand access and competition.

Earlier this month, Clinton first weighed into the EpiPen controversy in a tweet:

In a statement linked from the tweet, Clinton said Mylan should lower the costs, "immediately."

Following pressure from Clinton and Capitol Hill, Mylan took steps to lower the price of the life-saving allergy treament.

The drugmaker said Monday it plans to launch a generic EpiPen Auto Injector at a discount of more than 50 percent. The list price will be $300 for a two pack. Mylan expects to launch the generic in several weeks.

Last week, Mylan said it was reducing the cost of branded EpiPens to eligible consumers through the use of a savings card that will cover up to $300 for the EpiPen two pack.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch struggled in a recent CNBC interview to justify the repeated big price hikes to a retail cost of more than $600.

Mylan basically has a monopoly on the delivery system, with Sanofi's Auvi-Q exiting the market last year due to a recall, and Teva's generic version failing to receive regulatory approval.

— Reuters contributed to this report.