The EpiPen Scandal: Big, Bad Pharma Is At It Again

As if medications aren’t expensive enough, big pharmaceutical companies are raising prices once again. This time, it’s for the EpiPen. This is a device that is needed by those who suffer from severe allergic reactions. They are often used with children who experience a reaction while at school as this is one of the places where allergens are introduced without the child being aware that they are close by or even at home if a friend comes over and brings something that contains an allergen.

Parents often send an EpiPen to school so that the nurse can have it in the event of an emergency. The lifesaving pen was about $100, which was expensive enough for those who don’t have insurance or those who have insurance that won’t cover the entire amount. Now, pharmaceutical companies have decided to increase that price to as much as $500 for one pen.

This is an increase of over 400%. The Mylan company is responsible for the price increase. A spokesman for a former pharmacy, Martin Shkreli, has called Mylan “vultures” as they are preying on parents who need the pens for the children. There are also several United States Senators who are looking at the price increase. Some are asking that emergency supplies of epinephrine be placed in schools. Senators are vowing to investigate the increase in price as it’s an action that is uncalled for and makes managing money harder for parents of children with severe allergies.

There are allergists across the country who are reporting that patients are calling the office to complain that they can’t afford the high price increase. They don’t know what to do if there is an allergic reaction that warrants using the EpiPen. A recent recall by Mylan’s competitor has likely led to the price increase, meaning that Mylan is likely relishing in a monopoly. The price of the EpiPen isn’t the only thing that has increased. The executives who work for Mylan have seen increases in their salaries by as much as 600%. Heather Bresch is one of the CEOs who has seen a significant increase in the amount of money that she makes since Mylan has started to raise the price if the pens. With each quarter that prices for the device have been increased, the salaries of executives have increased as well. There has been sufficient advertising and the need for the product in schools, making Mylan similar to Kleenex and other brands that are normally seen in most households. Many parents have steadily watched the price of the pens increase every year until a surprising jump this August. We see you big pharma, and we are ashamed.