The Deathly Cost Of EpiPens
Politics and Activism

The Deathly Cost Of EpiPens

The cost of EpiPens has risen over 461 percent, but you can't put a price on human life.

The Deathly Cost Of EpiPens

Allergies. They’re a little strange, aren’t they? Someone can come into contact with a single peanut, which their body believes to be life threatening, so it releases chemicals throughout the entire body and suddenly that person is going into anaphylactic shock--which is the most severe form of an allergic reaction.

My sophomore year I became plagued by severe allergic reactions to something unknown. Allergy tests and blood work all came back with the same results: I was allergic to nothing (although it seemed like I was allergic to anything and everything--life in general). These reactions were unpredictable and varied in severity. Some days would consist of a minor breakout in hives, but other days more severe allergic reactions would occur, and it would become difficult to breathe or swallow as my lungs would tighten and my throat or tongue would swell. The doctors diagnosed me with chronic urticaria, which I’ve written about before, and I have since taken every and any antihistamine on the market to keep the reactions under control. Along with these antihistamines, I at all times must carry an EpiPen with me in case of a particularly severe reaction.

For class trips abroad, my teachers had to be notified and taught how to administer an EpiPen to me in case of a severe reaction. My family had to learn and my friends had to learn as well, just in case. I became dependent on these little life saving devices to be there during some of the scariest moments of my life.

I wake up every day knowing that there’s a possibility that I might suffer from a severe allergic reaction, and must be prepared for one at all time. While my anyphylactic reactions are usually slower to develop and don’t usually develop in seconds, for some people they do--and the EpiPen provides a solution to the immediate and life threatening problem.

While I’m not sure if what I have can be classified as an “allergy,” there are 15 million Americans (according to who do have food allergies and are similarly dependent on the life saving EpiPen like I am. While I am forever thankful that such medicine exists, what I’m not so thankful for is the recent and ridiculous price increase for EpiPens over the last few years.

In 2007, pharmaceutical company Mylan acquired the patent for the EpiPen, and in 2015 the price drastically increased from $56.64 to $317.82 which is a 461 percent price increase. However, the price of EpiPens was not the only thing to increase as Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch, received a drastic raise in her yearly income as well. According to NBC News, in 2007 Bresch was making $2.453,456 and in 2015 that number raised to $18,931,068, which is a 671 percent increase over the course of eight years.

The dramatic price increase is attracting the anger of parents as well as politicians. On Monday, August 22, U.S. Senators came together and were led by Amy Klobuchar who wrote a letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch demanding that she justify the dramatic increase in price of this necessary and life-saving device. In a public statement, Senator Klobuchar stated that the Judiciary Committee should hold a hearing and that the Federal Trade Commission should investigate the price increase.

How can something so necessary and life saving be sold for such a high price? For everyone with the tendency to have anaphylactic reactions, EpiPens are not optional. Those without insurance or high-deudctible insurance plans need EpiPens too, and cannot always pay the $640 a set that it currently costs. These high costs are leading to people questioning, “Do I really need this?” Which of course, they do.

People shouldn’t question whether or not they have the money to spend on life-saving medication, but the price increase in EpiPens is forcing them to do so. I am only one of 15 million Americans who has an ever present fear of a sudden life threatening, and potentially fatal, reaction. We as Americans have a voice and responsibility to one another. We have the potential to create change, and the ridiculously high price of EpiPens must change. Please help so many by signing a petition here to drop the price of the medication.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments