Epipen price hike

ANYTHING FROM POLLEN TO PEANUT BUTTER CAN CAUSE ALLERGIES IN PEOPLE OF ALL AGES.   

RESEARCHERS ESTIMATE THAT ROUGHLY 1 IN EVERY 13 AMERICAN KIDS SUFFERS FROM ALLERGIES, SO, CHANCES ARE, YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RELIES ON ‘THIS’ [PHOTO]. THAT’S AN EPIPEN… AND IT CAN BE A LIFESAVER FOR PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES. IT’S A SYRINGE FULL OF MEDICINE THAT HELPS THEIR BODY RECOVER FROM AN ALLERGY ATTACK.   

STUDENTS WHO NEED THEM USUALLY CARRY THEM IN A BACKPACK, OR THE SCHOOL NURSE KEEPS IT FOR AN EMERGENCY. RECENTLY THE PRICE FOR EPIPENS SKYROCKETED, MAKING A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO NEED THEM AFRAID THAT THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO AFFORD THEM.   

IDEASTREAM’S MARGARET THOMPSON EXPLAINS.  

MARGARET: In the last seven years the price for a pack of two EpiPens increased from $100 to $600 this year. So many people, including school nurses and parents, were upset that Congress called on Heather Bresch, the head of the company that makes EpiPens, to explain to them why.  

HEATHER BRESCH, CEO MYLAN: In the last few weeks, we have confronted the EpiPen issue head-on. Our program has four parts. We announce the first ever generic of the EpiPen product. Which will be priced at 300 dollars. This unprecedented move is the fastest and most direct way to reduce the price for all patients.  

MARGARET: Some say that the company is profiting too much off the lifesaving medicine. The head of the company was paid about $18.9 million herself in just one year.

REP MULVANEY: “We don’t understand the costs, we don’t understand the distribution system. We don’t understand how healthcare products get sold and distributed….”   

MARGARET: Suggested prices for all products – including medicine -- are set by the companies that make them, but figuring out the right price for a product isn’t always easy. First a company needs to figure out how much it costs to make an object. Say we are making a teddy bear. We need to know how much it will cost for fabric and stuffing — that’s our cost of materials. Then we need to know how much we will have to pay someone to sew the bears — that’s our cost of labor. We also have to add in what are called “overhead costs” this includes renting out an office and advertising to let everyone know about our teddies.  When we add these all together we have the total cost for little teddy here.  

Then we have to add on how much money we want our company to make off the bears. We call this profit. Put this in there and we get our required sale price. It is how much we have to sell the bears for.  

Of course we have to consider how much other companies are selling teddy bears for and how much stores will add on to the price so they make a profit too… It can all be complicated, especially when it comes to medicine that people need to stay healthy. EpiPens aren’t the first to be challenged over their prices and it doesn’t look like they’ll be the last either.  

Instructional Links

Website Article: Epipen: School and Camp https://www.epipen.com/have-a-plan/school-and-camp

Website Article: Mayo Clinic, Anaphylaxis http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anaphylaxis/basics/definit...

Website Article: Wonderopolis, How Are Prices Set http://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-are-prices-set

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.