The price of EpiPens are ten times more expensive now than they were in 2007 and the people who rely on their life-saving capabilities are forced with paying the tab, like Molly Beals.
“I just expect it now. When I go to the counter it’s like, let`s see what price it will be this year.”
1-in-13 children suffer from food allergies in the United States. Those with severe allergic reactions are forced to use EpiPens.
Beals' 4-year-old daughter, Anna, was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when she was 18 months old.
The mother of two says she noticed the steady increase in prices but knew she couldn't do anything about it.
“It’s life or death for your child. So you don`t want to gamble and it`s the one thing that could help reverse a reaction.”
When her daughter was first diagnosed, Beals was paying $200 for the device. Now, she pays about $550 for a set of two.
The family buys multiple sets at one time costing them about $1,500 annually even with the help of insurance and coupons. Families who use the device are forced to shell out thousands of dollars ever year. Epipens expire after 12-18 months.
The device's manufacturer, Mylan, says a reason for the spike in price is due to an improved product and it's value. However, Iowa lawmakers aren't buying it. US Senator Chuck Grassley called out the company, demanding answers. He worries the high prices could force people who can no longer afford it to opt out of the drug.
"It could create an unsafe situation for patients as people, untrained in medical procedures, are incentivized to make their own kits from raw materials,” Grassley said in a written statement.
Grassley has also asked if Mylan offers a patient assistance program. He has yet to hear back from the company.