After my cousin was born, through tests my family discovered that he was allergic to nuts and fish. This meant that he would need an Epipen for the rest of his life. Epipen is a injection filled with the chemical epinephrine that opens airways in the lungs when someone cannot breathe due to an allergy. Americans who are exposed to certain allergies that causes the lungs to swell need this drug to survive.
According to The New York Times, the increase of the price began to rise out of control as the company, Mylan, an American global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, prepared to lose its monopoly on the drug. It was like they were milking the last drop of profits from the medicine before other companies would compete for customers’ money.
When I heard about the rise of the Epipen, my heart immediately dropped. I come from a financially unstable family that can not afford to buy the medicine. This is a drug that many people need to survive because we all know accidents can happen. For example, if you are allergic to nuts and you go out to eat, you may not know that nuts are an ingredient in your favorite dish.
According to Howstuffworks.com, somewhere around 150 to 200 people die in the U.S. each year due to food allergies. However, this product can help many of our loved ones survive an allergic reaction, so we must be aware of what resources are available to help.
Furthermore, there is a solution that many people are uninformed of. There is a company called GoodRx that pairs up with several pharmacy benefits managers to negotiate discounts with pharmacies to give to customers. With the coupon from GoodRx, families could get the Epipen for about $142 at Walmart or Sam’s Club.
This drug is mandatory for those who need it. It is nearly life threatening if they do not have it. GoodRx gave our family hope, and now I know that my cousin has a chance to succeed at his fullest potential without anything, even a simple food allergy, holding him back.