The EpiPen price controversy has been in the news for over a month now. For those not aware of what I am referring to, let me give a short recap. In 2007, a single EpiPen, a device for injecting a drug that reverses severe allergic reactions, cost about $47, according to an August 25, 2016 article from NPR. By this summer the price of a single EpiPen rose to $284. What’s more is that EpiPens are no longer available as single pens, but rather only as double packs. So, the price to fill an EpiPen prescription now tops $600.
American drug prices have long been the object of controversy, from the price hiking on AIDS treatments conducted by the now-infamous Martin Shkreli or the $1,000 per pill Hepatitis C treatment that prompted Senate investigation. The average American spent $695 a year on drugs ten years ago, and now spends $935. Recently, the pharmaceutical Mylan received extensive backlash for the increase in the price of EpiPens, which are used in emergency situations to save someone from a life-threatening allergic reaction. EpiPens now cost $600, a 450% increase from their price in 2004. Analysts have determined that the cost of the drug within each Epipen is about one dollar.