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Paying $600 for an EpiPen? I don’t think so

IMG_1848It’s all over the news. The drug company Mylan has raised the cost of EpiPens, the anti-allergic reaction device, to $600 or more for some customers.

I’m allergic to bee stings. A couple of years ago, I bought an EpiPen. Then, this spring I paid $187 for another one. My insurance company paid nothing.

What am I going to do now? Even if I get the $300 coupon, which Mylan said Thursday that it’s offering, I’d still have to pay $300.

Is it worth it? It’s been decades since I’ve had a bee sting. I guess I’ll have to go without, hoping I’ll be near a hospital and can call 911 if I have a problem.

Since I’m really healthy, I don’t take any prescription drugs. All the complaints and outrage about the huge increases in the cost of drugs have been happening to other people.

Now it’s me and for a prescription drug that could save my life.

Why are drug prices going up so fast? For commercial and Medicare plans, there’s no government body that has rules or laws that dictate or restrict the price a pharmaceutical company can set for a drug. And in most cases, there’s nothing that restricts how much a company can raise that price.

Other factors include insurance companies are charging you more, too; old drugs are reformulated as costly new drugs; generic drug shortages can cause huge price increases; and specialty drugs are costing all of us more.

For more information, see my article “Why Prescription Drug Prices Are Rising So Sharply.”

Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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