Unethical Price Hikes of Life-saving Drug, EpiPen
I am allergic to bee stings. I learned this in 1997 when I was stung by a bee. I didn’t think much of it until my leg started to swell up and then my chest. By the time, I arrived at the emergency room, I was unable to breathe. Doctors had to perform live-saving measures on me.
Since that time, I have had 5 EpiPens at my disposal (golf bag, business bag, home, car, wife’s car). In 1997, I paid about $50 for all five as they were covered by insurance. In 2007, it cost me $500 for five. Fast forward to 2016, it cost me $3,000 for these five EpiPens. I actually decided not to get them this year because it was just not affordable. I actually chose to risk dying on the chance that an expired EpiPen would work in the event that I was stung. Can you imagine?
Hopefully, you are asking yourself that important $3,000 question. Why would a drug that cost so little 20 years ago cost so much today? That is something Congress asked Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch (the company that makes EpiPen). They asked why a life-saving device increase 600% since 2007. They also asked why her salary increased 671% from 2.45 million in 2007 to over 18 million in 2016.
Joe’s Perspective #1 – Greed: There is no pro/con argument on this issue. Hospitals, medicine and prescription drugs should not be monetized. Profit margins and shareholders should not come into the equation. Sure, every company needs to make a profit, but not at the expense of the patient. It’s unethical.
Joe’s Perspective #2 – Government Oversight: I love to watch videos of U.S. Congressmen/women prosecuting individuals who do such wrongdoings. They attack, the corner, they pounce! They ask the questions that are unanswerable. They do this on behalf of the American citizens. They do it for you and me. This is one of most important roles in government.
After watching this video, what are your thoughts on this issue?
I had heard about this issue before on the news and now after reading this blog post I decided to do a little bit of research on the subject. Some of the statistics and prices I found completely baffled me. The current price for an EpiPen in the U.S. is about 600 dollars wish is nearly nine times the price for the exact same product in Canada or the U.K. The price difference was so extreme that I ended up taking the time to muse myself and compared the prices of buying EpiPens in the States and flying from my home state (Washington) to the U.K. to buy EpiPens and found out that as long as you buy at least two EpiPens it is actually cheaper to go to Europe. It is honestly ridiculous and when you see that it costs about 20 dollars to make an EpiPen, there is no reasonable for the prices.
Great research. How about if we just paid the $40 for UPS to ship the EpiPens from Canada?