At the start of the school year, officials say they’re concerned about the price and availability of epinephrine for kids who need it. The drug can be administered by an EpiPen to anyone having an allergy attack and goes into anaphylactic shock.
Carolyn Janis from West Hartford calls herself an allergy “mama bear.” Her son is four and has a severe peanut, tree nut, and coconut allergy.
“Noah can simply not live without his EpiPen,” she said. “He will not be allowed at school, camps, or sporting events without them. No medication equals social isolation. EpiPens are becoming harder for families to afford as well as to actually purchase. The demands for them continue to grow as allergies continue to seep into families.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal said that nearly six million families in the United States face similar problems. He’s introducing legislation to combat what he says is price gouging by drug companies.
“The prices are continuing to be in the range of $600 to $700 for a set of two and even then, many parents simply can’t find them after very diligently searching their pharmacies,” he said.
Blumenthal said that Mylan—the company that produces the epinephrine injector—has a monopoly on EpiPens and that’s what causes costs to rise.