Background: “Epipens” are medical devices which are used during anaphylactic/allergic emergencies. During such situation, timing is everything and makes the difference between life and death. Between one and two preventable deaths happen each day from life-threatening allergies in the U.S. Further, 1 in 19 children have an allergy that requires an EpiPen prescription.
Increases in the cost of EpiPens have recently made headlines. Even those with health insurance can face prices near $700 for a single epi-pen. Here is where it becomes even more egregious: A child with severe allergies shouldn’t have one EpiPen… they need one set in their bag for school, one at home and one with each parent to be safe.
This means the cost could easily exceed a month’s worth of mortgage payments, and they expire after a year. As recently as 2008, the price was approximately $100. Since then, the Mylan pharmaceutical company has secured a monopoly on the product.
The rising cost of EpiPens reminds me of Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals. That’s the group which raised the price of cancer and AIDS medicines from $13.50 a pill to an exorbitant $750.
Mylan is not all bad, though, as over the previous two years the company has placed 650,000+ EpiPens for free in schools nationwide for kids who haven’t yet been diagnosed. Still, we have a hard time viewing this company, or the wider pharmaceutical industry, favorably….
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.