Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Salt Lake City, is taking steps to combat the skyrocketing price of EpiPens, which are used in emergencies to save the lives of people who have severe allergic reactions.
EpiPens deliver a dose of epinephrine, which can save the lives of those who have allergies to shellfish or peanuts.
You’ll remember this summer the pharmaceutical company Mylan, which manufactures the EpiPen, jacked up the prices to over $600 for a two-pen set. When Mylan purchased EpiPen in 2007, the cost of the drug was just $100 for two injectors.
Shiozawa’s SB108 changes the definition of what kind of injector can be used to administer epinephrine, which opens up the use of devices from other manufacturers. The previous wording ensured that only the Mylan device could be utilized for treatment.
Marc Leavey from Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center tells SELF that the cost of epinephrine by itself is a few dollars, but the self-injectors make the process of administering the drug much easier, especially in life-threatening situations.
“This allows other companies to compete and should lead to lower prices,” said Shiozawa. “As a doctor, many of my patients who have life-threatening allergies and need this cannot afford it when I prescribe it for them. That’s just wrong.”