Friday, January 15, 2021

Medicine price spike risking lives

When you’re a college student, your life changes. You officially become an independent person without having any parents or guardians telling you what to do. Every decision you make is your own, and the way you choose to handle situations is completely up to you.

So, if you’re someone who has severe allergies that can be life threatening, you should be carrying around an EpiPen, so you can save your own. But even with this life-saving equipment available to patients, the increase in price is making it extremely unaffordable for the public to obtain.

In 2007, a pharmaceutical company named Mylan Technologies acquired the right to market the EpiPen from its previous subsidiary, Dey, of Merck KGaA, a chemical and pharmaceutical company, as part of a larger transaction.

The EpiPen is an auto-injector you inject into the middle of your outer thigh when you are experiencing anaphylactic shock. You should still seek medical help, but in many cases, people survive due to the immediate help of the EpiPen.

The cost of the EpiPen has increased five times the price it was since 2009. The current price is $600 or more. Consumers are outraged at these prices, and I would be too. Having a treatment that can save a life is a blessing to have. There are untreatable diseases and illnesses all around the world that doctors and scientists are struggling to find a cure for.
So why make a device that does treat people too expensive to even buy?

Mylan knows that patients trust the EpiPens, and that is why there are no other companies in comparison to make a product similar to the EpiPen. So the price keeps rising, not because of the medicine itself, but for the business. It sounds a little selfish, don’t you think?

In college, students have to be even more cautious about what they are eating and what people are giving them when it comes to allergies. But with fewer consumers buying EpiPens, it’s going to be almost impossible to get a treatment as fast as this one for when accidents do happen.

I understand that it’s unrealistic for something like the EpiPen to be sold for $20, but I also think it’s unrealistic to have something this important and valuable to be as expensive as it is. Yes, those who can afford it will still be buying EpiPens, but the majority of buyers are people who can’t blow their paychecks on something they might not even need to use.
A life is no joke, and to take away something that can save one is absurd.

Many people cannot afford to pay $600 on something that expires after a year. Many people can’t afford to pay $200 either. But people did because it’s better to have it as a precaution then to not have at all if something were to happen.

Technological companies like Mylan have the power to dispense this brilliant tool to help extreme allergies, but don’t seem to really care about the patients the tool is helping. With the way prices have been dramatically rising year after year, who knows how many people could lose their lives due to the lack of availability of EpiPens?

Email Emily Kim at

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