US Senators from Ohio demand answers about EpiPen cost hike; one opens investigation

US Senators from Ohio demand answers about EpiPen cost hike; one opens investigation

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is upset about the skyrocketing cost of the life-saving medicine, EpiPen.

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The EpiPen battle has been ongoing for a while now and Brown and the other Ohio senator say they want something done about.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman came to Oregon on Thursday to tour the BP Husky oil refinery and praise new investments made at the plant, but he was also talking about the EpiPen controversy.

"Yeah, I'm frustrated about it. I also want to do something about it," Portman said.

The Senator told us his own wife uses the EpiPen, commonly used to save the life of someone suffering from a peanut allergy or other allergic emergency.

The senator might not have planned on it getting out, but he told us what is already in the works.

"You know we're prepared to do some investigations in my subcommittee, which is the permanent subcommittee on investigations. We've already started the process frankly. We haven't announced anything publicly yet. Until now."

Portman's colleague on the other side, Democrat Sherrod Brown, sent a letter this week along with other members of Congress, to the EpiPen maker, Mylan. The letter demanded answers about the price hikes.

Brown said Mylan had increased the price of the EpiPen by more than 480 percent, jumping it up from $103.50 for a set of two in 2009, to more than $608 today.

In Toledo on Wednesday, Sen. Brown also said it was done to benefit Mylan's top executives.

"When they abuse the public trust like this, you know, when they quadruple, quintuple the price, the CEO's bonuses and compensations go up four or five, six times what they were, when they were already well paid. Umm, something is wrong," Brown said.

Brown also said Mylan's promises to increase access and offer a cheaper, generic version, aren't "real solutions."

"This threatens kids' lives at schools who need these EpiPens if they have an allergic reaction to peanuts or something and you just don't do this kind of thing to human beings," he said.

Senator Portman said encouraging competition is the way to bring EpiPen costs back down.

We asked Mylan reps about the letters from Congress and they said they have received them and intend to respond.

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