The EpiPen Scandal: Don’t Mess with Parents! 

EpiPenBy Jill Zorn

If it wasn’t for a grassroots movement of furious parents, we may never have heard about the EpiPen price gouging scandal.

When parents of children with severe allergies started going to pharmacies in July to purchase their annual supply of EpiPens for the upcoming school year, they couldn’t believe how much the price had increased.  They got mad and they decided after years of price increases and growing insurance co-pays and deductibles, they weren’t going to take it anymore.

They took to social media with a vengeance.  Facebook posts, photos of pharmacy receipts and petitions to congress flooded the internet. Read one Connecticut mom’s CT Mirror post here.

This week, several U.S. Senators, including Connecticut’s own Richard Blumenthal, and the mainstream media heard them loud and clear.  The story exploded, engulfing Mylan, the corporation that makes and markets EpiPens.

Yesterday, the CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, was trying to do damage control, as outrage from the public kept pouring in.  She had her talking points ready – see the company’s press release, here.

  • Look, we’re great!  We hear you!  We’ll give you a coupon so you can maybe afford this $600 medication
  • It’s not us, it’s the pharmacy benefits managers, insurance companies, wholesalers and pharmacies that are all taking their cut
  • It’s not us, it’s “the broken system”

But when push came to shove and she was asked in a TV interview why Mylan doesn’t just cut the EpiPen price, her response was, “I’m running a business”.  Exactly.

When corporate greed gets in the way of access to life-saving medicine, it’s pretty clear that Mylan’s CEO is right, our health care system IS “broken”.  But what this scandal shows, is that Big Pharma, with their Big Profits, is at the heart of that broken system.

Go here to read yesterday’s EpiPen Scandal blog.

 

 

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