They lose their lives if they go into anaphylactic shock, too.
“This hearing is critical because yet another drug company, Mylan, has jacked up the price of a lifesaving product for no discernible reason(et al.),” Rep. Elijah Cummings said in his opening remarks at the Mylan hearing on Wednesday September 21, 2016. “The reason being, I believe, is to get filthy rich at the expense of our constituents.”
Epinephrine pens, also known as EpiPens, are a life-saving device for many people who experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. When one has an allergic reaction, they insert the needle from the device in to their upper thigh and receive a rush of medicine that stop any further allergic reaction from occurring.
But I’m sure that you all have seen the commercials.
Recently, Mylan, the company that creates the EpiPen, has recently come under fire for raising the prices of EpiPens to astronomical heights. This life-saving drug cost roughly $100 in 2007 and can be upwards of $600 today.
There is obviously national outrage. EpiPens may or may not be covered by insurance depending on the policy and need to be replaced yearly. Children need to have multiple EpiPens (one at school, one at home, et cetera) and parents are struggling to make ends meet with the high cost of this drug.
Some people have turned to DIY EpiPens. For example, the EpiPencil, which was created by a hacker group called Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, costs $35 and can be assembled with parts that someone can easily find themselves.
The FDA obviously advises against DIY EpiPens, because one has to keep the needle and medicine within it very sterile in order for the injection to even work.
But Mylan, the sole provider of the EpiPen is dominating the market. Another auto injector, called Auvi-Q, was introduced in 2013, but was pulled last year when the FDA found that the device could deliver an inaccurate dose.
Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch stated that 85% (the majority) of EpiPen users pay less than $100 for it and Medicare Part D participants pay $56 for it. But Ms. Bresch also makes 18 million dollars a year, as well as five other corporate giants at Mylan. So where does that money come from?
Maybe it’s the $600 price tag of EpiPens.