EpiPen: Putting a Price on Saving a Life!

To many of you, the price increase of an EpiPen may not seem like a big deal. At least not until you have a life threatening allergic reaction, where you almost die, or you have kids who do. When I was younger both cashews and pistachios were just as bad for me. I somehow grew more of an immunity to cashews. Yes, I am allergic to the best tasting nuts in the world but that is besides the point. I’m one of those people who needs to carry an EpiPen with me in case I come in contact with a raw pistachio. When the nut is roasted and I accidentally eat it, all I need to do is take a Benadryl. However for me, without a shot of epinephrine, a un-roasted pistachio could send me into anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis) or kill me, if it goes untreated.

Anaphylactic shock, or, anaphylaxis is what happens when you have a life-threatening allergic reaction to an antigen, the pistachio for instance. The body reacts to the over sensitivity it has to this antigen, so antibodies try to fight the antigen but at an excessive rate. So, let me explain why I need the EpiPen. The EpiPen contains epinephrine which is also know as adrenaline. The epinephrine that gets injected into my thigh, constricts blood vessels to increase blood pressure, relaxes my lungs to improve breathing, increases the heart rate, reduces hives and swelling, that may occur from the allergic reaction.

I’m sure it was scary for my parents, when I was a child and they saw me break out in hives and anaphylactic shock. No parent or person should want to see this happen to anyone. 

My parents still paid the price of almost $100 to get the EpiPen in case I had an allergic reaction. Now I am paying for it on my own and the price is far higher.

This story sounds all too familiar to the guy, Martin Shkreli, whom raised the price drastically of a cancer medicine. People try to put a price on a life, because these pens really can save someone’s life. Why do people have to suffer because they are deadly allergic to things?
People need this pen to save their lives. I have a younger cousin whom is allergic to almost everything and without this she could potentially die. 

An article I read from the New York Times mentioned Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ Gold Standard Drug Database reported that in 2007, pharmacies paid less than $100 for a two-pen set but has since steadily raised the wholesale price. In 2009, a pharmacy paid $103.50 for a set. By July 2013, the price was up to $264.50, and then it rose to $461 by last May. This May the price spiked again to $608.61. 

Many people can’t afford $600 and I guarantee insurances are not going to pay full price for that. The CEO Heather Bresch is risking killing people just to gain more money. She really needed a $18 million dollar raise? She blames the system but she is merely taken advantage of it. 

We should do something about it. I call on congress to do something about this, we need to fix the system!

Senator Bernie Sanders was someone who called out congress for this flaw in the Healthcare System but now he was silenced and booted out of the presidential race.

EpiPen Picture


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