Skip to main content

EpiPens cost 400 percent more and Klobuchar wants an explanation

The cost of EpiPens has gone up 400 percent since 2009, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar has said the "outrageous price increases" need to be "investigated and stopped."
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The cost of EpiPens has gone up 400 percent since 2009, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar has said the "outrageous price increases" need to be "investigated and stopped."

An EpiPen is a shot people can administer themselves if they have a life-threatening allergic reaction like anaphylactic shock.

According to the senator's news release, a pack of two pens cost about $100 in 2009. Now that same pack costs $500 to $600.

Klobuchar said this increase comes as Mylan Pharmaceutical – which owns the special auto injector that makes EpiPens easy to use – became a monopoly in the market.

There used to be other similar products on the market, but one was recalled and another didn't get FDA approved.

According to Forbes and Consumer Reports, there is another generic option called Adrenaclick. It works a bit differently than the EpiPen but ultimately does the same thing with the same drug.

"Mylan Pharmaceutical is exploiting a monopoly market advantage that has fallen into its lap,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

So the senator is calling for a Judiciary Hearing on the matter as well as an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission to see if any laws have been violated, according to a Facebook post.

Then she wants the Commission to explain to Congress why prices have skyrocketed and suggest a solution. Klobuchar asks that it be done within 90 days.

The Washington Post says Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has also spoken out on the issue. So has Bernie Sanders.

https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/766263360933466112

Why is it so expensive?

According to Forbes, the epinephrine itself isn't what's expensive – and the drug is the most important part.

What's pricey – or at least raises the costs – is the auto injector pen which only one company has the rights to.

So basically, you're paying for a system to perfectly calibrate $1 worth of epinephrine.

Forbes says there are other ways to inject the medication, like a syringe. However, it might not be as safe because the dosage isn't calibrated. Also, injecting into a vein – as opposed to muscle, like you do with an EpiPen – is more dangerous.

Additionally, a syringe full of epinephrine goes bad after about three months, according to Consumer Reports. An EpiPen lasts about a year.

Next Up

StumpysGoogleMaps

Beloved restaurant in southeastern MN to close after 40 years

A final night of celebrations is scheduled for Dec. 17.

PrinsburgGoogle

MN town shelves ordinance allowing residents to sue abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison advised the town to not go forward with the ordinance.

Spring Street Tavern

Man shot dead inside Minneapolis tavern is identified

The suspect is being held on probable cause murder.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes to play U.S. Bank Stadium in 2023

The Strokes will provide support along with King Princess.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

Settlement reached between MOA, family of boy thrown from balcony

The boy suffered multiple injuries that required several surgeries.

Pixabay - police crime tape do not cross stock

Body found in burned out car near Bird Island

The Renville County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

money hundred dollar bills

Chanhassen psychologist pleads guilty to $550K billing fraud

Charles Howard Jorenby, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court late last month.

police lights squad car

Charges: Coon Rapids man had 25 pounds of cocaine from Mexico

Luis Javier Avila-Lopez, 38, was arrested after law enforcement seized the cocaine earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

Related

An 'affordable' alternative to EpiPens is coming in 2017

It looks like people with allergies won't be limited to EpiPens for long, a new epinephrine auto-injector will be hitting the shelves in 2017.

Bills wants full slate of debates with Klobuchar

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's challenger, State Rep. Kurt Bills, says he wants 10 or 12 debates before the November election. But the incumbent has agreed to only two so far. Some political analysts say Klobuchar's strategy is to ignore her opponent.

Mylan is recalling a bunch of faulty EpiPens

This comes after the company recalled about 81,000 EpiPens in other countries.

How hospital drugs have been driving up the cost of MN healthcare

There has been a huge growth on drug spending in medical settings between 2009 and 2013.