Consumers anxious about EpiPen price increase

After a recent confirmation on August 25th, 2016, consumers and critics have much to say regarding the skyrocketed price of the renown Mylan produced EpiPen. What has typically costed no more than around $100 for two injectors, is now targeted to be priced six times that at $608. While the prices have slowly fluctuated since its debut in 1987, the makers of the EpiPen were not willing to budge when the new price hit the market last Thursday. 

“Everyone suffers, except the Mylan investors”, says Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute’s, Sabrina Corlette, and she is hardly the only one with this same perception. Consumer groups, as well as politicians have accused Mylan of monopolizing its market dealing with a massive demand for this life-altering injection. 

However, while this may seem true, Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch made a statement on Thursday justifying her company’s price increase, as well as some potential solution for EpiPen consumers. She claimed that the company only receives $274 of the $608 price, and that the rest is divided amongst insurers, pharmacies, prescription benefit managers and distributors. Being that Mylan is not willing to engage in a price reduction, it has committed to expanding its programs to help people pay for the set of epinephrine-filled syringes. This will include $300 copay cards, which will reduce the price to about half, in comparison to the previously received $100 prescription savings. 

Although some might be relieved by this easy fix, not all are convinced. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut said in a statement that “this step seems like a PR fix more than a real remedy, masking an exorbitant and callous price hike.” 

In the past, EpiPen has had little competition in the medical field being that most Doctors treating those who have suffered from anaphylactic shock will prescribe it without second thought on its competitors. Yet, two companies have been rumored to be getting approval of  a generic brand of EpiPen. Unfortunately, neither are likely to hit the U.S. market until at least late 2017. 

A resolution could come sooner from a pharmacy that fills individual prescriptions, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, and within the next few months would be charging merely the usual price of around $100. 

Until then, Mylan will surely be undergoing serious critiques and potential consumers will have to settle for the new price adjustment. 

The original article was written by LINDA A. JOHNSON and TOM MURPHY, and can be found here

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