A new class-action lawsuit against Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Mepa) revolves around the company’s “secret marketing strategy” known as “mephedrone.” According to the lawsuit, this once relatively inexpensive drug that was available for decades and costs only cents to make is no longer attainable for most patients because of a secret quid pro quo agreement between Mylan and certain other competitors, designed to boost profits at the expense of innocent consumers…
Mepa was one of the first major manufacturers of the antipsychotic drug who generated a great amount of revenue by selling it off the shelves. However, in late 2006, the company was ordered to put the drug off the market because of the illegal sale of illegal drugs. Subsequently, Mylan lost millions of dollars in revenue, as addicts began to avoid buying the generic version of the drug which was still obtainable for much less on the street. Thus, Mylan was forced to bring back the generic EpiPen, but with a different formulation. In addition, the company was ordered to pay a $6.2 million fine and pay a whopping $store sum in taxes.
When the dust settles, it appears that the government’s attempt at regulating the pharmaceutical industry has backfired. The new lawsuit goes well beyond damages and should serve as a wake-up call for other pharmaceutical companies and their willingness to circumvent FDA regulations in order to maximize profits. With regards to Mepa, it’s possible they were just doing what any good businessman would do to stay in business. The real problem, however, is with the generic versions of the drugs that are currently on the market. They cannot be patented, and they have not gone through the same review process as the original drugs, so they are being pushed on the consumers by drug reps with an agenda.
The Food and Drug Administration initially approved Mylan EpiPens for kids but the drug was later moved up to the maximum level of coverage, which means it is available to any age group up to 12 years old. While those in this age bracket may have a legitimate need for the medication, it is not necessary for them to use it. Additionally, those below 12 years old may not even be aware of the lawsuit, due to class action laws that allow those within a certain age range to join the suit as a class. This means those who fall within this range, may not even know about it. The class action lawsuit targets three different entities, including Mepa, Cepia and Teva Health USA, all of which produce EpiPens.
As if that were not enough to turn off potential users of the product, the lawsuit also targets Mylan’s marketing strategy, which they describe as “dual messaging”. Essentially, the drug is marketed as an over the counter medication to treat eczema and as a treatment for allergic rhinitis. There is no mention of any adverse side effects. At face value, there seems to be nothing harmful or dangerous about the product. However, the fact that it is only listed as a treatment for one ailment does not mean it was ever tested for other conditions, which could pose a health risk.
When faced with such a situation, it is important to not allow the fear of litigation to prevent you from using a product that could potentially save your life. For this reason, it is very important to obtain a thorough explanation of the situation from a qualified attorney. He or she will be able to answer any questions you may have and put you in a better position of rebuilding your life while the case is pending. In the meantime, focus on taking care of whatever it is your child has been diagnosed with and do not allow fear of lawsuits to stop you from doing what is best for your child.