Thursday, July 14, 2016

EpiPen maker Mylan, Corp is Gouging Consumers, Risking Lives

The worst thing about the American health care industry is how shamefully and heartlessly profit is placed over people. Nowhere is that more clear than the recent news of a massive price hike by the Mylan Corporation of their signature life-saving product, EpiPen. The iconic yellow epinephrine delivery system is known across the country for its ability to immediately stop a severe allergy attack that could lead to a fatal case of anaphylactic shock. We all know people with life-threatening allergies to things like bee stings and peanut butter, and most of us know someone with an EpiPen. They are a hallmark of school nurses offices, and they have saved countless lives. As a person who suffered anaphylaxis as a child before the advent of an EpiPen, I know how precious this product is, having nearly died during the 15-minute drive to the hospital to receive a shot.

For many years, this product was affordable, even for people with weak insurance or high deductibles, and concerned parents could even purchase a couple EpiPens to have at home and school. Just a few years ago, a two-pack cost roughly $100. Now, it is going for more than $600. Now, clearly Mylan is selling more of these than ever before, and they are long past the time of technological research and innovation that goes into creating products, which can result in high prices. Apparently, now Mylan just wants to make as much money as possible, and it is "making a killing" with its popular and necessary product. As consumers make hard decisions about what they can afford - and recall that these EpiPens allegedgy "expire" after a year requiring replacement - there will no doubt be countless people whose lives are put at risk so the execs and shareholders of Mylan can make even more money.

“This is an example where pharmaceutical prices have gotten out of line with what that drug really costs to make,” he added. “In all the arguments that manufacturers make that it’s the cost of innovation and those sorts of things, you could really argue the EpiPen been around long enough that it more than paid for the cost of innovation.”

For even more information, check out this coverage from Slate.

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