EpiPen Price Hike Costs the Pentagon Millions

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The stock price of Mylan is soaring, but the pharmaceutical company might not be out of the woods yet. After a summer of bad headlines, Congressional testimony, and agreements to pay back millions to the government, the Pentagon is looking at how much Mylan has been overcharging since 2008.


Mylan recently came under fire for price gouging after jacking up the price of the EpiPen from $57 in 2007 to over $600 today. The lack of a generic alternative was just one of the many reasons that Mylan got away with it. The CEO even had to testify in front of Congress, and ultimately pay back $465 million for ripping off Medicare. But now people are taking a look at how much money Mylan may have overcharged the Pentagon. The answer? About $54 million.

Reuters obtained documents from the Department of Defense outlining the amounts that the Pentagon has been paying over the past eight years. While the government gets a discount on EpiPen at military treatment centers, members of the military don’t get that discount at retail locations, despite the DoD footing the bill. Mylan and the Department of Defense are now talking about what should be done about it.

Much like in the case with Medicare, Mylan has also been classifying the EpiPen as a generic drug, despite the fact that it’s clearly a name brand. That means that the company actually makes more profit from each sale. Mylan has announced the impending introduction of its own generic EpiPen after the CEO was grilled by Congress.

The $54 million may seem like a drop in the bucket when it comes to defense expenditures, but it highlights the need for more oversight of the pharmaceutical industry. Because when even the government is getting screwed, what chance does the average consumer have?

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog


Tricare, which is the military health system, eats a lot of the DOD’s budget. They have been increasing their fees for retirees over the last few years and isn’t ran very well. Tricare, along with VA, are all the proof that you need that government healthcare sucks. It’s a microcosm for how the country will fare.