What to do about the high cost of EpiPens!

I recently wrote about The Scary Price of EpiPens. There have been numerous articles online about the increasing price, and various suggestions of how to mitigate the issue.

Here are just some of the articles:

High price of EpiPens spurs consumers, EMTs to resort to syringes for allergic reactions

Mylan’s EpiPen price increases are Valeant-like in size, Shkreli-like in approach

Allergy sufferers caught between EpiPen price hike, health plan crunch

Martin Shkreli Weighs in on EpiPen Scandal, Calls Drug Makers ‘Vultures’

I love this idea that Dr. Dave Stukus has for decreasing the cost of EpiPens:

Dr Stukus Tweet on EpiPens

I have been interviewed by numerous news agencies about the high price of EpiPens and I have told each of them that Mylan’s high prices would be better understood IF they were creating a smaller EpiPen and/or if they were working on extending the expiration date of the product to 2 or 3 years from the current 12-24 months. Since neither of these are occurring from every response that Mylan has provided to the media, I can only assume that they are increasing the price to pad their profit while enjoying their monopoly status.

I decided to write my two US Senators and my one US Representative and ask them to request an inquiry into Mylan’s pricing practices. Here is the gist of the letter that I wrote (and please feel free to copy/paste and add your pertinent information):

Hello Senator/Representative ____________________________
You may have seen the recent Denver Post article titled, “Allergy sufferers caught between EpiPen price hike, health plan crunch”. We are very dismayed at the rising cost of the EpiPen for no good reason. There are 15 million Americans with food allergies, and the EpiPen is providing $1 billion in sales for Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen.

Certainly, part of the issue is the changing prescription coverage for those of us with high deductible health plans. Another part of the issue is Mylan who have raised the price of the autoinjector astronomically since 2007 when they purchased the patent.

My recent trip to purchase an EpiPen yielded a price of ________ for a 2-Pak EpiPen prescription for my child. Mylan offers what they call a $0 copay card, which actually maxes out at $100. Therefore, the cost of the prescription would still be ___________ for our family. We could not afford to pay for the medication.

This is lifesaving medication for my child, who has anaphylactic food allergies to _______________.

In the past, we would have purchased four to six 2-Paks of the medication for safety’s sake.Our child will have an expired EpiPen 2-Pak as his backup. This is not ideal, and we are not alone in having to make these difficult financial decisions.

I would like to request an inquiry into Mylan’s practice of huge price increases for this drug, when there have been no improvements at all.
Mylan currently has no real competitors other than a generic alternative, Epinephrine USP, which would still cost us $400 with our insurance. Without competition, we consumers have no real hope for change, hence the need to ask for your assistance.

To date, I have received one response from Representative Doug Lamborn:


Plus I received a phone call from Senator Michael Bennet’s office telling me that he has a contact at Mylan that he will speak to regarding this situation.

I just saw this post today from Minnesota Senator Klobuchar:


Please write to your US Representative and Senators! We, the food allergy community, don’t have to accept these price increases.