The pharmaceutical company Mylan drew Internet and patient jeers after it became publicly apparent that it had hiked the price of the EpiPen to $600. The company acquired the epinephrine pen in 2007 and, back then, it was only $100. Furthermore, the product development was paid for by you – the taxpayer.
The epinephrine injection pen saves the lives of those with allergies so severe they go into anaphylactic shock. In the time it takes a paramedic to reach a person who goes into anaphylactic shock which causes the throat to close and the victim to lose oxygen to the brain, it could be too late to save a life. The injection pen works almost instantly allowing those with life-threatening allergies to live independently and without too much fear for their lives.
While Mylan cut the price by about half, the situation still highlights the greed of pharmaceutical companies who never show regard for self-pay patients and let insurance companies pick up the tab thanks to premium payers. After all, the product amasses $1 billion dollars in sales each year.
John Vibes previously reported:
Thanks to Patent No. 7,449,012, no one could compete against Mylan in the realm of EpiPen. And, thanks to loopholes in patent laws, companies like Mylan can make a tiny and insignificant change to their product to restore patent protection and once again rely on the state to legitimize their monopoly. However, the active ingredient is in EpiPen is no longer afforded a government monopoly through a patent, and can, therefore, be reproduced as a generic.
Therefore, it’s really no surprise that – what I’m calling “epiPreneurs” – have stepped up to the plate to innovate an affordable and unique version of the EpiPen.
Here are 3 EpiPreneurs Who Are Trying to Give Back to the World
Also reported by John Vibes, a pharmacist with a pen solution that lasts three months:
Jeremy Counts, owner of Main Street Pharmacy in Blacksburg, Virginia, is buying the medicine in bulk, and making his own EpiPens, which he is selling for just $20!
“I mean, it was ridiculous. I was having people come in and they were, well, what am I going to do?” Counts said.
“I buy the epinephrine in bulk and I get a good price and then I take the syringes and I pre-load them with 2 doses for people, and after I pre-load them, they’re ready to go,” he explained.
“There is absolutely zero difference as far as the actual medication being delivered. The only difference is they’ve got a fancy pen with a spring in it,” he added.
Counts also said that he is providing this service basically at cost, and is hardly making a profit on the deal.
The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective have shared a scroll-worthy creed about their product called the “EpiPencil”:
WHEREAS The pharmaceutical industry continues to put profits above human life, and
WHEREAS Autoinjectors and epinephrine are technology which belongs to the world, and
WHEREAS EpiPens save lives every day, but only for those who can afford them, and
SINCE The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective is dedicated to providing access to everyone
WE HAVE developed the EpiPencil, an epinephrine autoinjector which can be built entirely using off-the-shelf parts, for just over $30 US.
The open source product co-created by Michael Laufer, a PhD mathematician, comes with free instructions although we cannot make any safety claims or recommendations. Some have pointed out that homemade or almost homemade epinephrine pens can be dangerous because the affected person may already be in a position too physically compromised to have the motor skills it takes to follow more than one step.
Last but certainly not least, is a doctor who has made a $50 epinephrine keychaincalled AllergyStop (R). But he needs your help to get it out to the public. Dr. Douglas McMahon has an Indiegogo fundraiser that has raised $11,000 so far and has two months to go.
What do you think of these innovations? Would you give them a try even if your life depended on it? Sound off below and share!