Rising EpiPen prices put lives at risk

According to Mother Nature Network, EpiPen prices have seen a 450% increase since 2008, and this upward trend will likely continue in the coming years.

Blot graphic by Julia Perconti and Adriana Poznanski

According to Mother Nature Network, EpiPen prices have seen a 450% increase since 2008, and this upward trend will likely continue in the coming years.

Kaitlyn Delaney

Roughly 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, according to the American College of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology. For those at risk of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction, the EpiPen can be a life-saving medication. Yet, with prices on the rise, accessibility to the EpiPen has decreased over the past decade. 

According to Mother Nature Network, EpiPen prices have seen a 450% increase since 2008, and this upward trend will likely continue in the coming years. 

“[The price] has changed over time to better reflect important product features and the value the product provides,” officials from Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen, said in an interview with CBS News. “We’ve made a significant investment to support the device over the past years.”

With a shelf life of 18 months, EpiPens require frequent replacement. Many families, however, lack adequate funds to replace the medication when necessary, causing concern among individuals with allergies. 

Katie Myers, a mother from Baltimore, explained to Market Watch that she is greatly affected by the high prices. Both Myers and her son have allergies, but the family can only afford one EpiPen, forcing Myers to make sacrifices for her son’s safety.

“I’m a single mother of two, and teacher pay is painfully low… An EpiPen pack for each of us is more than I make in two weeks,” Myers explained. “It’s very uncomfortable with no medication… Now I’m stuck, and so is my son.”

Junior Michael LaRocca of Middletown has allergies to peanuts and various tree nuts; his allergies vary in severity with some requiring immediate use of the EpiPen. LaRocca expressed concern for the rising prices and feels that the overpricing is unethical. 

“They are a necessity for some people with food allergies,” LaRocca explained. “They are lifesavers, and profiting that grossly off of them is unjust.”

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