Monday, August 29, 2016

Big Pharma price-gouging with EpiPens

It's not related to diabetes, but if you pay attention to the headlines at all lately, you probably heard about the latest scandal in the pharmaceutical world: Mylan has raised the price of their EpiPens something like 450 percent, from $100 for a two-pack in 2007 to $600 now.  And they can't even claim they have to cover the cost of inventing the drug, since they actually only bought the rights to the patent from another company.

So what have they been spending their money on?  Their CEO's salary, apparently, which has also jumped since then, from $2 million to $19 million.
Blaming Obamacare (as of course they are) is such a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction.  Obviously the company isn't suffering from Obamacare as much as they'd like us to believe if they can afford to pay their CEO 9.5 times more than what they were paying her before Obamacare.

Their new offer of producing a generic EpiPen that's half the cost is basically the wolf telling the little pig, "How about this: I'll only eat half of you."  They're still charging many times more than what it costs to make an EpiPen, and since they have a monopoly on this device (there isn't another competitor out there), they can set whatever price they want on the brand-name product.  Then, no matter how much the generic one costs, it looks like a deal, because hey! The real one costs your firstborn child, so you're lucky to only have to give up your third!

I bring it up because this is just part and parcel of the mess our healthcare system is in the US.  It impacts everyone with health issues -- which is to say, every single resident at some point during the course of their lives.  We need to follow the example of pretty much every other developed country in the world and take the control of the medical industry away from the greed of big corporations, and we need to do it soon, before kids start dying because their parents can't afford the medicine that would save their lives.

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