By Ella Belvin
Tatler dives deep into the rising prices of EpiPens, the commonly used and needed syringed for extreme cases of allergic reaction.
Recently, countless people in the United States are outraged by the rising prices of the commonly known syringe, used in cases of extreme allergic reaction, called the EpiPen. In 2006, the price for a two pack of EpiPens cost about $107. In 2016, the same two pack is priced at about $608. In this time, neither the cost of the medicine nor the cost to make the syringe has significantly increased; however, the price of the Epipen has more than quintupled. So, where is our money going?
Coincidentally, Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, the company behind the Epipen, has increased her salary more than 600%. When Bresch joined Mylan in 2007, her annual salary was around two million dollars. Today, her salary has increased to about nineteen million dollars. However, when asked about the increased prices of the EpiPen, she blamed Medicare saying, “As the health insurance environment has evolved, driven by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, patients and families enrolled in high deductible health insurance plans, who are uninsured, or who pay cash at the pharmacy, have faced higher costs for their medicine,” ( WBJD political news) Not only did Bresch raise the price of Epipens, she also has significantly raised the price on thirty one other Mylan products.
Because of the price jump of the EpiPen, many people are unable to afford this lifesaving device. Approximately forty-three million people are at risk of anaphylaxis, or life threatening allergic reactions, that EpiPens are designed to counteract. Families from lower income households are having trouble paying this monstrous price. Furthermore, EpiPens do expire, which leads to many people carrying around expired EpiPens. While there is no direct harm linked with using an expired EpiPen, the effect of the Epipen will not be as strong or, worse, may not work at all. This has lead to life threatening situations all over the country, and many believe this is just because Mylan’s CEO wants to increase her own salary.
The rising prices of the EpiPen are putting innocent people, especially children, in lethal danger. After confrontation, Mylan said that a generic version of the EpiPen would be released; however, many are skeptical of the quality of the generic version. It seems that the CEO of Mylan is using people’s uncontrollable allergic reactions for her own financial benefit. Millions of people in the U.S. require an EpiPen to be able to live their lives without the fear of death, and making them pay outrageous prices for the drug is immoral and cruel. Currently, there are no federal regulations on how high a drug can be priced. By talking to our congressmen about setting these regulations for our citizen’s safety, we can fix the injustice that is the $600 EpiPen.