Express Scripts (NSDQ:ESRX) said yesterday that it would include Mylan‘s (NSDQ:MYL) EpiPen emergency allergy device on its 2018 formulary, favoring the drugmaker’s product over auto-injectors from competitors like Impax Laboratories (NSDQ:IPXL) and Kaleo.
The largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S. has practiced excluding certain medicines from its list of covered drugs since 2014, pointing towards the high prices taken on by health insurers.
Express Scripts reportedly claimed that by keeping certain drugs off its formulary, it is able to negotiate lower prices from drugmakers. For 2018, the PBM said it will save customers an estimated $2.5 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in 2017.
The formulary establishes the drugs that millions of people using private insurance will have access to using a co-pay. For next year’s list, Express Script added 64 new drugs to its list of excluded products.
Mylan has faced criticism and legal probes over the last year after reports in August showed that the company raised the price of its EpiPen product by more than 500% over the past decade.
Facing pressure from lawmakers and consumers, Mylan announced in December that it would sell a $300 generic version of the hand-held device.
IPXL shares were trading at $18.80 apiece in mid-morning activity today, down -2.8%.
Also, at the company’s annual meeting last month, shareholders re-elected the drugmaker’s board despite a campaign spearheaded by major investors to do otherwise.
The campaign hoped to encourage shareholders to vote down most of the board’s directors in response to Mylan’s drug pricing practices for its EpiPen device. The influential proxy advisory firm, ISS, also urged shareholders to vote against the directors.
Although Mylan’s board was re-elected, the campaign managed to land a win, since shareholders voted against the company’s executive compensation structure. Earlier this year, Mylan revealed that chairman Robert Coury reeled in a $97 million pay package in 2016.