When you have severe allergies, the world can be a dangerous place. Bee stings, eating certain foods, or even exposure to peanut products can cause some people to go into anaphylaxis. And if these people don’t get immediate treatment, they could die. This is why the EpiPen was created. It delivers a quick and precise dose of the drug epinephrine to patients suffering a severe allergic reaction. This emergency tool saves lives, so why has it gone from $100 per pack to over $600?
Rising Prices and Hot Tempers
The drug company Mylan bought the rights to produce the EpiPen in 2007, and ever since then the price has steadily climbed. This year, the list price of the pen reached six times what the product was retailing for before Mylan purchased it. The price hike has its customers fuming.
Adults and children alike rely on this potentially lifesaving product to live their lives. So when the price started to climb, they definitely noticed. Angry parents wrote letters and took to social media, complaining that they suddenly couldn’t afford the medicine their child needed to survive an allergic reaction. Worse yet, there is no alternative product for them to fall back on.
Why the Price Hike Is So Devastating
The patent on Epinephrine expired many years ago. However, no company has been able to bring a viable generic product to market. The last company to try, Teva, was denied approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This has led to a virtual monopoly on a product that saves lives, and it appears that Mylan has taken advantage of this happenstance.
The EpiPen price increases are now being labeled as price gouging by the general public. Pressure has become so strong that the company’s stock has taken hard hits, and a federal investigation has been initiated. In response to the public outcry, Mylan started an EpiPen discount program, but public rage was not quelled. So the company announced it will release a generic version of its own drug at $300 per pack. Though the price is cheaper than the current EpiPen brand name product, it is still three times higher than the 2007 price point, and customers still aren’t happy.
What else can Mylan do? Will the federal investigation force them to lower prices? Will the company be held responsible if someone dies after being unable to afford its product? Keep following our product liability blog to learn more, and don’t forget to log on to Facebook and Twitter to share your own thoughts on the matter.
Brought to you by your Macon personal injury attorneys at the McArthur Law Firm.