Here's Why Everyone Is Flipping Out Over EpiPens

epipen, medicine, health

A drug company injected a price increase on a life-saving drug millions of Americans need

The Short of It:

Mylan, the drugmaker who got caught up in a firestorm of criticism this week over their hike in prescription drugs- namely the EpiPen, announced it would be taking a series of steps to lower the price for some of its patients.

The Longer Version of It:

Yesterday the drugmaker announced it would take measures to lower the price of EpiPens which have skyrocketed from just $100 in 2009 to $600 over the past two years. EpiPens are used to treat allergy attacks that can become life-threatening and effect nearly 3.6 million Americans who receive prescriptions for the drugs according to the Wall Street Journal.

Plenty of parents, celebrities and politicians voiced their anger and bemusement over the rise in prices for the treatment, which in so many cases can be a life-saver. An estimated 3.6 million Americans were prescribed an EpiPen in 2015, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education over 300,000 children per year receive ambulatory care visits due to food allergens.

Since the protests, Mylan has come out with a plan to help setback costs. But only for some patients. The company has outlined a plan to help cover up to $300 dollars in charges for patients who pay mostly out of pocket for EpiPens due to their healthcare plans. The company also has plans to increase the number of low-income patients who are able to receive cash for the medical devices. The turn in the decision has brought up the age-old debate over how much insurance companies should have to cover.

The Takeaway:

Be angry, but don't be shocked when your next medical need sees a steep spike in prices because this isn't anything new. A report released by the House of Representatives found that 10 generic drugs got price increases in just a year ranging from a 420% increase to over 8,000%. You'll remember the outrage that sparked early this year when a drug company increased the cost of a drug used by cancer and AIDS patients, from $13.50 to $750. Brutal. So if anything, prep to hear more about this issue in the upcoming years as we push towards the end of the election year, that's because no one's happy about the serious hit their wallets are taking for their medical needs. Or, that quite a few of the Mylan execs have been receiving pricey raises in the past couple of years. Not a good look.