October 26, 2016

Why EpiPen Prices Are On The Rise

6871650865_003c319230_zAn EpiPen is a vital piece of equipment for people who can suffer from severe allergic reactions. Food allergens, medication and insect stings or bites are all examples of factors that could trigger anaphylaxis. This is a life threatening allergic reaction that occurs within minutes of being exposed to an allergen. Common symptoms of this condition include severe itching, hives, and swelling of the tongue, mouth and eyes. Furthermore, the condition also effects the person’s ability to breathe. When exposed to the allergen, the airway is affected. The throat and chest tightened, which makes it very difficult to breathe.

An EpiPen contains a small dose of the hormone adrenaline. This hormone is essential for giving the body the strength and motivation it needs to fight the severe reactions of Anaphylactic shock. The EpiPen functions to do so by increasing your blood pressure and reducing the smooth muscles in the lungs to ease your body into breathing at a healthy rate again.

However, this vitally important form of medication has become very expensive over the past decade. The price has been controlled by Mylan, a for-profit pharmaceutical company that owns the official rights to market and sell the EpiPen since 2007. Since then, it has been observed that “the company has driven up the price from about $60 to more than $600 in a series of 17 price increases” [1].

The medicine that actually puts a stop to the allergic reaction is very cheap; the EpiPen’s unique, consistent delivery system is what makes Mylan’s product so special. But consumers detest the fact that Mylan profits so richly from this product when the main demographics are schools and families with small children – people who struggle to afford the drug.

Due to the vast amount of public attention in the last month, Mylan has been repeatedly accused of unreasonably increasing the prices of a lifesaving medication.

[1] Mylan agrees to give EpiPen Documents to Congress. Jackie Wattles. CNN Money. Retrieved From: http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/12/news/companies/epipen-mylan-house-committee/

Image taken by Greg Friese. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/gfriese/6871650865/in/photolist-bte1cM-bte1p4-bte2u6-o8gRVJ-7AqPWo-6QFmx1-bte1Gx-bte1ya-bte11z-bte1Te-btdZG2-btdZRg-bte1Zv-bte2ar-bte2kc-bte2Tx-bte2Ex-bF1Rjy-66E1BU-3zenu6-6KbHA2-6KfTaw-52LsYe-52QGA1-9xGkFj-tv7u4-Mdn5ps-Mdn4LU-Mdn4aJ-MueVgs-48Q8m

October 7, 2016

Why Drug Prices Need to be at the Next Debate for Presidential Candidates

election_map_usa_tick_TXTWith the second presidential debate almost upon us, it’s time to consider the topics that will be posed to the presidential candidates. The second debate follows the format of a town hall meeting and some of the questions will be taken from an online debate question list curated and voted on by the American public.

A group of patient advocates that represents the right of Americans to import prescription drugs is asking for support to raise the important issue of affordable medication to the candidates. This group includes the Campaign for Personal Prescription ImportationPharmacyChecker.comPrescription Justice Action Group,RxRights.org, and the publisher of TodaysSeniorsNetwork that currently represents over 4 million Americans. However the issues affect a much larger population, as 35 million Americans do not adhere to their prescription schedules due to the cost of their medication.

A poll by Kaiser Health revealed that voters care about a variety of health issues, including 51% stating that a candidate’s plan to address the cost of prescription drug prices has the ability to affect their vote. The poll also shows that voters tend to prioritize the candidate’s personal characteristics over their stance on prescription drug prices, nevertheless their plans are still important. The poll indicates that 58% of Clinton supporters places a high importance on the candidate’s plan to address prescription drug prices.

The advocacy groups are asking Americans to support the issue of prescription drug prices by voting on this important question on the Open Debate Coalition Forum. This is a chance to bring the issue of personal importation of medication to the forefront on a national stage.