Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has signed into law legislation to increase access to and reduce the cost of epinephrine autoinjectors used as an alternative to the expensive and in-demand EpiPens. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senator Heather Sanborn of Portland, passed the legislature unanimously.
“The ability of Maine people to survive an allergic reaction can often depend on access to epinephrine,” said Governor Mills. “This new law will make FDA-approved epinephrine devices more affordable and more widely available to those who need them. I thank Senator Sanborn for her leadership and the Legislature for expanding access to this life-saving device for Maine people.”
“Ensuring that schools, summer camps, and other places where large groups gather have on-hand, FDA-approved epinephrine delivery devices other than the ‘Epi-Pen,’ which has been in short supply and is quite expensive, is critical,” said Senator Sanborn. “This simple, yet essential change will help ensure that these places have access to epinephrine in case of an emergency. I thank Governor Mills for signing my bipartisan bill into law.”
LD 1972 “An Act To Increase Access to and Reduce the Cost of Epinephrine Autoinjectors by Amending the Definition of “Epinephrine Autoinjector”” expands the definition of epinephrine pen and epinephrine auto-injector in Maine law to include new, innovative and cost effective delivery methods of epinephrine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It takes effect immediately.
One in fifty Americans is at risk for anaphylaxis — a severe allergic reaction that can lead to death and roughly 200,000 people receive emergency care for severe allergic reactions each year in the United States. Mylan purchased the rights to EpiPen, a common epinephrine delivery device, in 2007 and gradually raised EpiPen prices, with the average wholesale price going from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461 percent increase, from 2007 to 2015.