Epi-Pen cost triples since 2009 causing concern


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – When stung by a bee or if suffering a severe reaction to food some people in an emergency use an Epi-Pen to stop the reaction. Unfortunately though, the current cost has skyrocketed and because of this increase in price medical officials say there could be serious consequences.

“Epi-Pen is probably one of the most important drugs as far as a life-saving drug,” said McClaren Emergency Medicine Dr. Dave Komasara.

“There’s a reason Epi-Pen’s have been so successful…it’s easy, it’s administered as a pen so it’s very easy to inject it,” Urgent Care P.A. Adam Harkiewicz stated.

During an allergic reaction, Epi-Pen’s are the most common preventative medicine people use but it might not be for long…

“With the rising cost, patients a lot of times we prescribe them and then they’ll go to the pharmacy to have this filled and if they can’t get it, it’s more of a preventive measure and if they can’t get it or they can’t afford it they’ll just hope that it doesn’t happen and not pick it up,” Harkiewicz said.

Back in 2009, reports show a 2-pack of Epi-Pen’s cost just $100 but today, they cost more than $600 dollars.

“I think it’s unreasonable to charge an amount that could break a family’s income at the expense of their health,” Komasara stated.

Speaking of expense, for the last 3 years in Michigan it has been required for schools to have Epi-Pens on hand and with the increase in price it leaves people like Harkiewicz concerned.

“It’s going to be a big problem especially for ya know…with all the cuts in school funding as it is, if they’re not able to stock these medications adequately, it can be deadly,” said Harkiewicz.

According to both Dr. Komasara and Harkiewicz, if people don’t receive the proper medical attention, including Epi-Pens when having an allergic reaction, it can mean minutes between life and death.

Epi-pen is made by the company Mylan and they say they do offer coupons for people up to $100 but unfortunately people with high deductibles still have to pay the majority of the cost out-of-pocket.

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