Growing Concern over Price of EpiPen

POCONO TOWNSHIP -- EpiPens are used by people with certain allergies, including some food allergies and bee stings.

The price of this potentially lifesaving tool has skyrocketed, which is causing concern for those who are required to have them on hand.

According to salon.com, the cost of one EpiPen has gone from about $50 back in 2004 to about $300 today--an increase of 500 percent.

Drug maker Mylan is the primary manufacturer of EpiPens in the United States. Many experts blame the company's near-monopoly on the market for the skyrocketing cost.

Inside Little Discoveries Daycare near Tannersville, administrators have Epipens on hand in case someone may have an allergic reaction.

"Parents do provide the EpiPens, so I mean if costs continue to go up, it could potentially be a huge problem for children that need these," said Little Discoveries Daycare administrator Kimberly Tirado.

Right now, these pens cost up to $650 for a pack of two. Administrators at the daycare believe it's too high of a price to pay when trying to save someone's life.

"A price should not be put on these. They should just be provided especially to parents that need them. It's something that’s needed just to prevent an issue from happening."

More people who can't afford an EpiPen means more calls will come out for an ambulance. Pocono Mountain Regional EMS has noticed a number of calls coming in recently for people needing an EpiPen because of an allergic reaction.

"If people do not have an EpiPen, yes, they will be calling us more often," said Pocono Mountain Regional EMS operations manager Denise Doremus.

Doremus tells Newswatch 16 it is mandatory for their trucks to have two EpiPens on hand at all times.

"We need a pediatric and an adult and we need two of each, so right there is very expensive."

EMS officials also call the year and a half shelf life on the EpiPens a problem and hope something can be done to lessen the burden sooner rather than later.

5 comments

  • BadAllergies

    Funny thing is that my copayment after insurance hasn’t changed in years. Maybe no one has insurance?

  • angela

    They also moved their company overseas to dodge taxes by buying a much smaller company and assuming the smaller company’s headquarters in the Netherlands. What a stand-up company.

  • burtfan16

    I make a derogatory comment about Big Pharm and you cut it? What, is WNEP in Big Pharm’s pocket as well?

  • Disillusioned

    Couldn’t agree more. I skipped this year’s prescription of the EpiPen because of the cost and Obamacare hasn’t been very helpful. It seems like all of it has gotten even more crazy since it was passed. I thought that the ACA was supposed to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible. With the crazy deductibles and higher monthly costs, things like the EpiPen are the first to go. If I am stung, all I can do is hope that the ambulance corps has a supply that might save my life. Very saddened—I voted for change and hope; doesn’t seem like we got any of either and the prospects for the next 4 years don’t look much better.

  • Jess

    Uuuuhhhhh so sick of these bible thumping idiots!!! It’s one thing to be religious ok whatever I can deal with that but idiots that have beliefs like this are just ridiculous. So glad I can beyond this crap.

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