Patients and doctors shocked at soaring Epipen prices - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Patients and doctors shocked at soaring Epipen prices


Epipens are always within an arm's reach of Kelley Beatty.  She along with millions of other parents of children with severe allergies depends on the device to administer lifesaving medication in cases of a severe allergic reaction.

"It definitely makes you feel better knowing that if he were to ingest something or if he were to get stung or he were to react to something, there is something that can save his life," said Kelley Beatty of Boardman.

That assurance comes with a price tag, that as of late, is much higher than it use to be.  Doctors and patients say the Mylan pharmaceutical company has raised the price of its Epipen from about $100 in 2008 to more than $500 in 2016, a hike of more than 400%.  They say the price really started creeping up after a recall of Mylan's main competitor last year.

"It puts the parents in an incredibly difficult situation between giving their child the appropriate medical basis that they need for their medical condition, but not being able to afford it," said allergist Dr. William Houser.

"You sacrifice vacation.  You sacrifice going to the doctor for yourself becuase you know you need to come up with at least $600.  If you need more than one set, which most people do for back to school, you need one to carry and one for the nurse and then for home.  You are at $2,000 if you need four sets," said Beatty.

While there are coupons for the medication, families must meet certain financial guidelines to be elligble to receive them.  An alterntative to the Epipen would be a syringe.  However, some doctors and patient advocates warn it's more complicated to get the correct dose.

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