EpiPen Price Spike

EpiPen prices have been steadily going up for years now, with a recent price hike sending the price skyrocketing, which is causing a big problem for people with severe allergic reactions.

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Photo by Wikipedia

The EpiPen is an emergency drug applicator containing epinephrine which is also known as adrenaline. The purpose of the EpiPen is to narrow blood vessels and open airways in the lungs. Thus, EpiPens can reverse severe low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

The Mylan EpiPen has been increasing in price 20% annually. Today, the price of an EpiPen is around $730; this price is up $164.98 since 2011.  Mylan, the drug company that owns EpiPens, has been able to inflate the price so highly since they have a patent on the mechanism that operates the EpiPen. With the device being patented, no one else can use their idea, and without anybody else being able to make an auto-injecting epinephrine medication, Mylan can raise their prices as much as they’d like. People in desperate need of an emergency epinephrine injections would still need to purchase the medication despite this high cost.

The cost of one injection of epinephrine only costs about $1. Because of this low price, other companies have begun to make their own epinephrine injection systems. Adrenaclick, an auto-injecting system, somewhat like the EpiPen, retails for around $450, far less than the EpiPen. These auto-injectors both do the same exact thing, although Adrenaclick is significantly cheaper than the EpiPen. Because of this, pharmacists are now referring their customers to Adrenaclick because of the EpiPen price hike.

By Nathan Moore

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