EpiPen pricing debacle and its impact on patients, insurers


EpiPen is a life-saving treatment for those with severe allergic reactions. Photo from iStock.

EpiPen, manufactured by Mylan, a life-saving medication for those who suffer from severe allergic reactions, has become out of reach for many individuals who need it most. After a severe price increase of up to $600 or more, many can no longer afford to buy it, sparking outrage across the country.

Both consumers and politicians are outraged at the change, citing the need for better policies and an overall reform of the U.S. healthcare system. Since the change was first announced, Mylan said it would issue coupons covering up to $300 worth of the cost to EpiPen users who have high-deductible insurance plans. The manufacturer also said it would increase the income level for those in the patient assistant program.

According to ABC news, the company will also be producing a generic EpiPen in the coming weeks, available in a two-pack for $300.

“A company’s deci­sion to sharply raise the price for an existing drug is based on market fac­tors and drug-​​patent con­sid­er­a­tions. But when such price increases per­tain to life-​​saving drugs such as the EpiPen or, in the case of Valeant, Mephyton, a blood-​​clotting med­i­cine, it gen­er­ates a lot of atten­tion and controversy,” said D’Amore McKim School of Busi­ness professor and the Depart­ment of Health Sci­ences, director of the North­eastern Center for Health Policy and Health­care Research Gary Young.

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