Target: Heather Bresch, Chief Executive Officer of Mylan Pharmaceuticals
Goal: Lower the price of the EpiPens that mean the difference between life and death to those with severe allergies.
Allergic reactions can leave someone with hives, a swollen throat, difficulty breathing, or a variety of other life-threatening symptoms. EpiPens quickly and safely end a severe reaction by injecting a tiny amount of epinephrine into the body. However, recent price hikes have made EpiPens inaccessible to many of the people who rely upon them every day.
EpiPens are an essential medical device produced by Mylan Pharmaceuticals with no credible competition in the market. Over 3.6 million Americans received prescriptions for EpiPens in 2015, and often, those with severe allergies carry at least one EpiPen at all times. Last year, the main EpiPen competitor recalled their stock, leaving Mylan Pharmaceuticals essentially without any market competition.
In the past six months alone, EpiPens have risen in price by $170, and now cost upwards of $500, depending on location. EpiPens aren’t reusable and must be replaced after use or at least once a year, so these costs can add up quickly. Many insurance policies only cover a fraction of this cost, and Medicare and Medicaid recipients don’t qualify for any financial assistance from Mylan. The U.S. has a particularly serious problem with pharmaceutical companies such as Mylan raising prices, and as a result, increasing numbers of people are actually traveling to Canada to obtain their EpiPens.
Increasingly, many pharmaceutical companies have dramatically raised the price of life-saving drugs in order to increase their profits. Experts are blaming this trend on a lack of competition for trademarked drugs and methods. In the case of EpiPens, the device itself was developed by researchers at NASA who receive no royalties from the sales. This, combined with the low cost of producing the EpiPen itself and the tiny amount of epinephrine required to halt an allergic reaction, indicates that greed on the part of the company is the cause of the hike in price.
In recent months, the cost of EpiPens has risen so much that emergency response services and desperate patients have been unable to continue purchasing EpiPens and have resorted to using syringes of epinephrine instead. This method is less effective and riskier than an EpiPen because correct dosages are so hard to determine with a syringe.
EpiPens are a medical necessity for millions of Americans, and Mylan Pharmaceuticals must make these life-saving tools accessible to those who need them. Sign the petition below to remind Mylan’s CEO of their responsibility to the people.
Dear Ms. Bresch,
EpiPens are the safest and fastest way to save the life of someone suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Because they must be regularly replaced and can’t be reused, they are a significant expense for those that need them. Mylan Pharmaceuticals has raised the price of EpiPens over and over, forcing desperate parents and families to turn to less safe and effective methods of halting allergic reactions.
Mylan is prioritizing profit over the lives of people who rely on their products, and this must end. EpiPens must be made affordable for those who need them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Intropin