For those with severe allergies, the EpiPen is literally a matter of life or death. A bee sting, inadvertent peanut ingestion—these can lead to anaphylactic shock, which shuts down the airways and can ultimately lead to death. With a quick stab to the thigh, though, the EpiPen can avoid tragedy by dispensing epinephrine. Epinephrine reverses the closing of the airways and other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.
There’s just one problem: The EpiPen is becoming unaffordable.
The staggering price increase is leading to calls for investigation. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called for the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Mylan’s price-setting practices.
Other politicians are in agreement. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said that he would investigate the “shocking increase.” “Sadly, this case is just the latest in a greedy trend of skyrocketing prescription drug prices that are hurting consumers, limiting health options, and strangling our economy,” said Senator Blumenthal in a statement.
Outrage is not just limited to politicians. Parents of children with severe allergies expressed their sadness and fear. “It’s very wrong,” said Naomi Shulman of Northampton, Massachusetts, whose daughter has a cashew allergy. “It’s gouging parents about their children’s lives. It’s not like letting them sniffle. It’s life or death.”
Lauren Barr, of Clark New Jersey, spent $735 this year on EpiPens