The Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, Bloomberg reports. In August 2016, there was an outcry over Mylan’s pricing practices around the EpiPen, which can be life-saving for those experiencing a severe allergic reaction.
The Federal Trade Commission protects customers from businesses that use shady and unfair practices to stamp out their competition. The investigation is still early, and it might not end in any sort of punishment for the company, Bloomberg reports based on an anonymous source.
The FTC is investigating a couple of different aspects of Mylan’s business practices. One of them is whether Mylan improperly extended its patent by making small, insignificant tweaks to the product — thereby keeping other generic competitors from reaching the market. Another aspect of the FTC’s investigation is whether Mylan paid any generics manufacturers to delay marketing cheaper alternatives. Mylan told Bloomberg reporters that it hasn’t done anything that would warrant the investigation.
The company came under both public and political fire in 2016 for hiking the price of an injector to about $300 dollars — up from $57 for each shot. It also incorrectly classified the EpiPen as a generic drug rather than a brand-name, which led to the company overcharging Medicaid. Mylan has pledged to pay a massive $465 million settlement, although there’s no evidence that it has, Bloomberg says.