Cost to save a life increases after price gouging of Epipens.

Emily Crace

If you have an allergy, you’re used to double-checking ingredients before eating something, asking who made the cookies that were brought in to a pot luck and possibly having to take medicine after a spring day.

I’ve lived with severe allergies all my life. My oldest memory regarding my allergies is from kindergarten, when I ate an apple at snack time and my gums immediately started itching. After that, I went to a doctor found out I was allergic to all fruits, tree nuts, peanuts, bees, pollen, mold and much more.

An allergy is a hypersensitive immune response that flares when allergens enter the body. The reaction to an allergen could be small, but it also has the potential to be life-threatening. In some cases, the reaction is so intense that it is classified as anaphylactic shock which can include hives, swelling of the tongue, dizziness and constriction of airways.

Anaphylaxis is a severe medical emergency, and can be reduced and sometimes counteracted by an adrenaline injection directly into the muscles as well as airway management and antihistamines.

People with life-threatening allergies usually carry EpiPens, auto-injectors filled with a precise dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to be administered during a life or death emergency. Though it is not guaranteed to save lives, it is meant to reduce or counteract the reaction in time to get the person reacting to a hospital.

Epinephrine itself is rather cheap, with no more than one dollar’s worth of medicine in an injector. Yet, recently the already expensive cost of EpiPens doubled, going from $300 to a whopping $600 for a pack of two.

The increase in prices has caused a national uproar. Mylan, the major manufacturer of EpiPens, tried to deflect the blame of the increasing costs.

While Mylan did end up with a monopoly due to a lack of competition and alternatives, they have no right to charge over $600 to potentially save the life of a young girl who got stung by a wasp while playing outside or a 50-year-old man who ate a cookie made with peanut butter at an office party.

If you need to have an EpiPen on hand, chances are you want multiple to keep in different locations, with family members or a teacher. Additionally, epinephrine degrades quickly, and so each EpiPen should be replaced annually according to

These instruments that act as peace of mind cost ungodly amounts and for what reason?

For some, carrying an EpiPen is the only sense of security they have when going about their daily lives. Close to 15 million Americans, according to the Food, Allergy, Research and Education group, suffer from serious allergies to anything from foods to animals, dust mites to medications.

Living with severe allergies is stressful, terrifying and a burden; I carry an EpiPen with me at all times, I have to check ingredients on everything I eat and I can’t be outside for too long in the spring or fall.

Some insurance policies cover the cost, but for most, it can be difficult to afford.

Allergies tend to run in families as well. If it can be difficult to support and ensure one child’s safety and health; imagine the financial stress on families with multiple members suffering from these severe reactions.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said, “The only explanation for Mylan’s outrageous price increase is that the company values profits more than the lives of millions of Americans.”

Sometimes, an EpiPen is a person’s only chance at survival during an allergic reaction. The price for an EpiPen is too high, just like the cost of not having one readily available in a medical 

As I’ve grown older, my allergies have changed. I have developed the strongest allergy to latex my allergist has ever seen. In my daily life, I have to be extremely cautious as to what goes on, around and in my body. I didn’t ask to have these issues, but having an EpiPen on hand gives me peace of mind, and the skyrocketed prices makes me fear I will lose my one sense of security.