Make Life-Saving EpiPens Affordable for Everyone

Epi-Pen_(1)

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.

PETITION LETTER:

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.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Intropin

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7 Comments

  1. Jackie Shanks says:

    I can’t believe how much they’ve gone up!
    And you have to buy 2! You can’t just buy one.
    So much expense and there’s a chance you may not have to even use it…but you still have to keep it on hand.
    I now keep syringes.

    • They are finding that most anaphylactic reactions require a second dose. That is why they only make the 2 packs anymore. That being said, no reason it needs to be so expensive.

  2. We have to buy two packs each year since they expire quickly. One for home and one for school. They cost us $450 each after insurance and after the $100 online coupon. Total of $900 a year. It is ridiculous that people are taking advantage of families that MUST have these to save their child’s life. I read they cost less than a dollar to make. When we were in Europe, they cost only $70 euro. It almost makes more sense for us to fly there and buy them which is messed up.

  3. Nancy Mead says:

    I am a nurse and also I need to have an EpiPen and I find it sinful that s medication needed as a life saving device is so horribly expensive , I honestly feel everyone should carry one as you never know when one will have a severe reaction to a bee sting , insect bite or something you eat and this is impossible due to its sinful high price , never mind for the people who know they need it !!!!!!!

  4. You can order from a Canadian pharmacy $198 for a two pack or $350 for 4 pens
    drugstore unlimited.com. I just ordered. Takes about three weeks. Was gonna cost me $600 for a two pack here.

  5. “because correct dosages are so hard to determine with a syringe.”

    Are you kidding? Doctors, Nurses, Medics, Vets, Pet Shops, Farmers, etc. do it EVERY DAY.

    The author hasn’t bothered to have a look-see at her local farm supply store — syringes are clearly marked for dosage, for liquid medicines like antibiotics that are sold by the bottle.

    The epinephrine dose in an EpiPens is 0.3 mg, which is the same as 0.3 cc.

    The cost for that dose is about $4.00, add a cost of $0.50 for a disposable syringe and you get $5.00 maybe, with tax.

    Mylan charges $500 for two. Nice margin. Well, ok, with their product, you don’t have to actually push the plunger.

    That’s a lot to pay for convenience.

    To raise the price THAT much, without getting prosecuted, probably means gov’t connections.

    See who the CEO’s daddy is: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-23/how-marketing-turned-the-epipen-into-a-billion-dollar-business

    Maybe the family is related to Martin Shkreli…

  6. Don Chappell says:

    The worst part aside from the fact that it raised the cost of them 400% is that the woman who did this got a 16 million dollar raise from this.

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