Folks with serious allergies know: EpiPens are a lifesaving, essential medicine. So if you purchased an EpiPen between Aug. 24, 2011, and Nov. 1, 2020, you may be awarded a portion of a major settlement by the drug manufacturer.
The $264 million class action settlement is the result of a 2017 lawsuit that alleged price-fixing by Mylan, EpiPen’s manufacturer. If you’re a longtime EpiPen user, you probably remember that the price of the product steadily rose over time, putting a huge pinch on patients’ wallets.
In 2007, an EpiPen prescription cost $100. By 2016, the price had skyrocketed to $608.
The suit’s plaintiffs allege that Mylan worked with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to artificially bump up the price of EpiPens.
“Defendants devised an illegal scheme to monopolize the market for epinephrine auto-injector devices,” the lawsuit claims. “As a result, millions of Americans relying on this life-saving device have paid exorbitant prices for EpiPens that are in no way tethered to or constrained by a competitive market.”
The EpiPen contains a pre-measured dose of epinephrine, a powerful synthetic hormone. Instead of drawing up medicine into a syringe, users simply press the “pen” against their body, triggering a needle to pop out and invisibly inject the medication.
Epinephrine helps buy time in the case of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Users still need emergency medical attention, but the epinephrine helps relax the airway muscles as the reaction sets in.
Drugmaker Pfizer agreed to pay $345 million in a class-action settlement that opened to claims last year. Now, Mylan has not admitted wrongdoing in its response to the price-fixing suit, but the company has agreed to pay the $264 million settlement.
If you think you qualify for a portion of the settlement, you can visit EpiPenClassAction.com and file a claim. The site notes that if you’ve already submitted a proof of claim for the Pfizer settlement, you don’t need to submit another now — you’ll automatically be included as a member of the Mylan settlement.
There are a few caveats in place — people who work for any of the pharma companies involved are excluded from the class, for instance — but many consumers who purchased an EpiPen or its generics can join.
Filing a claim takes just a few minutes. You don’t have to provide any proof of purchase right away, though you may be asked to submit documentation in the future.
The final approval hearing for the settlement is set for July 6. The amount individuals may be awarded is yet to be determined. (It depends on how many customers join the suit.)
Customers have until July 25 to submit a claim. If you’re an EpiPen patient, add your name to the class and go dig up a receipt!