Epipens have more than quintupled in price since 2004

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Epipens – self-injection sticks carried by people with deadly allergies, which have to be replaced twice a year – were developed by NASA at taxpayer expense, were patented by a government scientist who receives no royalties, require no marketing, and have gone from as little as $60 each to up to $606 in a few short years (during which time the company has switched to selling them exclusively in two-packs).

Mylan, who makes Epipens, and Pfizer, who markets them in the USA, have raised the prices monotonically since the middle of the last decade. Now, they’re so expensive that many public ambulance services have stopped packing them, parents are sending their kids out with expired Epipens, and many are opting for the much-less-effective strategy of carrying a syringe full of epinephrine, and hoping they’ll be able to inject themselves if they go into anaphylactic shock (one doctor who advises this compares having an Epipen to driving a Cadillac, something that not everyone can do. Other people drive to Canada, where Epipens are $94 for non-Canadians who pay a premium because they don’t have insurance-backed prescriptions.

Mylan and Pfizer have no explanation for their pricing, apart from saying that it “reflect[s] the multiple, important product features and the value the product provides.”


“The price reflects the value” MOTHERFUCKING AIR IS VALUABLE, BECAUSE IT’S NECESSARY. YOU’RE BASICALLY SAYING “it’s okay for me to gouge you because you have to let me to live”