Your Health Matters: Lawton family impacted by EpiPen price increase

Over the last few years, the price of the EpiPen has gone from $100 to $600

By JENNA REHNSTROM | jrehnstrom@kcautv.com

Published 08/31 2016 10:40PM

Updated 08/31 2016 10:40PM

Public backlash continues over the price increase for the popular epinephrine drug, "EpiPen."
The cost has risen from $100 to more than $600.
 
After an outcry from customers, EpiPen maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced this week it would make a generic EpiPen that costs $300.
 
That's a huge frustration to families like the Malms from Lawton. Their son has a life-threatening allergy and they can buy close to a dozen EpiPens in one year.
 
Jessica La Fleur-Malm says, "Take it out and show me how it works."
 
The most important back to school lesson for his mom? Teaching her 2nd grader how to use his EpiPen.
 
Jessica says, "Yep! And then, what do you do?"
 
The Malm family has always had an exciting life. Jessica and Kevin's quadruplets are now active 7-year-olds. Adding to the family's hectic day-to-day routine, are worries about Carter's severe nut allergy. 
 
Jessica La Fleur-Malm says, "His allergy is so sensitive that if a kid ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home for breakfast, gets on the school bus, and if [he] were to touch him, he would have a reaction."
 
So, Carter carries his safety net around his waist. He's had to use an EpiPen several times. Because they expire every year, the Malms have to stock their home and Carter's school with close to a dozen EpiPens over the course of a year.
 
"It's life or death. Without that medicine, he wouldn't be with us," Jessica says.
 
That's why the recent price jump for EpiPens is hard to swallow. Thankfully, their insurance covers the majority of the cost, but that doesn't mean they're not impacted... and frustrated.
 
Jessica says, "We feel very taken advantage of. A medicine that costs a dollar to make cost $600, whether that be my out of pocket or the insurance company or the pharmacies absorbing [the cost]. Whatever it is, that's not right. Something's wrong."
 
Jessica hopes that all the attention on EpiPens will not only get the company to lower their costs, but also make he general public more aware about food allergies and just how serious they are.
 

 

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