People who have severe allergies likely carry around an EpiPen everywhere they go. And parents with kids who have serious allergies do the same. In fact, many doctors recommend that patients carry two EpiPens at all times. This means that EpiPens are needed everywhere — at work, at school, at home, and in the car. Because without an EpiPen, being exposed to the wrong stimuli can cost someone their life.
As if having a child with a severe allergy wasn’t terrifying and hard enough, it just got a lot harder following a spike in the price of EpiPens.
Mylan, the makers of the EpiPen, recently increased the price of each device from about $100 to anywhere from $400 to $700, depending on pharmacy rates and insurance coverage. So for kids with severe allergies who, let’s say, want to go to camp but also want to live through it — they’ll need to spend a lot more money for extra EpiPens.
In other words: Their parents will need an extra thousand dollars or so.
Of course, no one can put a price on their child’s health, but a $600 increase on a life-saving medication is unreasonable. Bernie Sanders – a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – thinks so. too.
“The drug industry’s greed knows no bounds,” Sanders said in a statement to NBC News. “There’s no reason an EpiPen, which costs Mylan just a few dollars to make, should cost families more than $600. The only explanation for Mylan raising the price by six times since 2009 is that the company values profits more than the lives of millions of Americans.”
After the removal of Auvi-Q (EpiPen’s competitor) from the market last year, EpiPen was basically handed a monopoly on epinephrine pen sales.
“This is a mainstream product that people carry, and it’s getting harder and harder for people to afford it,” Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar told NBC News, according to PopSugar. “It’s just another example of what we keep seeing – outrageous price increases when a monopoly situation ends up in a company’s lap.”
We truly hope that Mylan decides to do the right thing by caring less about money, and more about the health and safety of those with severe allergies.