Parents are firing back at increased cost of lifesaving EpiPen

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For people with allergies, saving their life now comes with a costly fee.

The well-known EpiPen device has risen in cost. In 2008, the average cost for an EpiPen was around $100. Today, it costs around $500 or more. Now, parents are firing back.

Kristin Rondon, a mother of four, said she’s worried for her youngest. The three-year-old has multiple allergies.

“Eggs, nuts, fish, all milk; pretty much all dairy,” Rondon said.

Luckily, she only has a copay of $15 through her husband’s health insurance plan. But she knows that’s not the case for all parents.

New York Assemblyman and Cohoes pharmacist John McDonald said he regularly sees parents spend hundreds of dollars for the sake of their children’s lives. With the 400 percent hike in price, parents aren’t left with much of a choice.

“It’s a scary thought to think that a drug company could hold that over your head, and you have no choice but to buy it for your kids,” Rondon said.

McDonald said the company offers a coupon for the buyer that causes people to think the total cost will come down to $0. However, the final cost depends on the person’s insurance plan.

“It costs nearly $600, which is an astronomical increase over the last seven to eight years,” McDonald said.

The EpiPen only carries a shelf life of one year, so they must be refilled annually.

“The drug is truly lifesaving, but at the same token, the cost continues to escalate because there’s no competition on the market,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the EpiPen is trusted by many. He believes the price hike will continue to soar, and the drug industry will be profiting millions.

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