August 19, 2016

Pharma-Bro Martin Shkreli
Remember the Martin Shkreli supervillain (pictured) who raised the price on a much-needed drug used to treat patients with AIDS? How could you forget when he upped the price from $13.50 to $750 PER PILL? It's hard to forget the most punchable face on earth, thanks to his Republican-like desire put profit over human life.

Unfortunately, he set a trend for the industry that has adopted the Shkreli business model, Big Pharma. Now, financially strapped parents have to struggle to keep their children from dying from allergic reactions, thanks to the latest pharma-villain: MYLAN PHARMACEUTICALS.

The target of the tired narrative is a medical device with an unusual amount of brand name recognition, effectively no alternatives and a growing patient population

The price of the EpiPen, which treats emergency allergic reactions, has climbed sixfold over the last several years. At drug price-comparison website GoodRx, the cheapest price today is $614 for a package containing two, or more than $300 per EpiPen, up from about $100 for two.

This price increase is just another reason why for-profit medical care is so flawed and unfair to those in need. There is no other reason but greed for the insane cost increase, no new availability shortages of its contents to warrant the price hike.

Dr. David Stukus, a pediatric allergist and associate professor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, says he’s heard a lot of frustration from families who can’t afford their medication.

He also hasn’t seen anything to warrant the higher cost.

“I don’t think the device has changed at all, but I think the supply and demand have changed dramatically,” he said, noting that there has been a sizeable increase in reported food allergies among children over the last decade.

EpiPens have become crucial to Mylan’s bottom line in recent years, after the company purchased the product among others in a 2007 transaction. Higher volumes of EpiPen sales helped drive a 17% increase in specialty segment revenues, the company said in its first-quarter earnings statement.

Since September, rival device Auvi-Q was pulled off the market, and the price of EpiPen has continued to rise. In the last year alone, the price has climbed by $200, Smith said. Emergency medical responders, and even some patients, have turned to manual injections of the medication epinephrine in response, reported Stat News, a dangerous solution in the absence of medical training, doctors say.

Sadly, Shkreli was just being a good 'businessman.' That means living up to the worst example of the downfalls of unregulated Capitalism. Mylan is just one of so many that are guilty of literally killing people for more profit. They make up lies to cover their rears, but the bottom line is that Big Pharma needs a babysitter, they need the dreaded R word: REGULATION!

In a statement, Mylan said that the prices have "changed over time to better reflect important product features and the value the product provides," and that "we've made a significant investment to support the device over the past years." Epinephrine only costs a few cents, but they're going up to $500.

Bloomberg adds:

He said he wasn’t alone in taking big price hikes.
As it turns out, the former drug executive was right. A survey of about 3,000 brand-name prescription drugs found that prices more than doubled for 60 and at least quadrupled for 20 since December 2014.

Here are the worst offenders.

Credit: DRX-Connecture

On the plus side, at least Hillary Clinton has a plan to fight this, by setting the maximum out of pocket costs of medicine to < $250 per month, she at least sets a cap for this out-of-control inflationary trend. Donald Trump's plan? It hasn't been pulled out of his rear end, along with policy plans for essentially... everything. But never fear, he hires the 'best people.' Sure he does.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.