FDOM16 EpiPen

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Because I just recently had to use an EpiPen, I only have one working EpiPen at the moment. Every user is recommended to have two with them at a time (in case emergency personnel have not arrived in 15 minutes), so each user needs a two-pack for work (or school) and for home.

Food allergies have been in the news lately! Whether you have food allergies, you know someone who has food allergies, or you are someone who just checks social media and/or the news at least once a week, you’ve seen numerous posts and articles about Mylan and their price hike on the life-saving drug EpiPen®.

Two years ago, I could purchase an EpiPen 2-Pak® for $100 — or free if I could find an applicable coupon online. Within the last month, the cost of this drug has increased to $600 for the exact same product. The drug formula wasn’t changed, the company didn’t lose any grants — in fact nothing whatsoever changed other than the fact that the company could raise their prices.

If I can just buy a syringe and epinephrine, why would I need to spend over $500 for the EpiPen®?

The answer is actually quite painfully and annoyingly simple: you’re paying out the wazoo for the autoinjection device and not the life-saving drug itself. Sanofi’s Auvi-Q®, EpiPen®’s only competitor, was voluntarily recalled last year due to problems with the amount of epinephrine being delivered — not enough was injected into the patient, which could cause many problems up to and including death (thankfully, there were no fatalities from Auvi-Q®’s miscalibrations).

But what is perhaps the most frustrating about all of this is that those of us with food allergies have no other comparable option. Amedra’s Adrenaclick® also injects 0.3mg of epinephrine and works similarly to EpiPen®, but users have experienced difficulty in utilizing the device — and many healthcare providers will not prescribe this product and will instead prescribe EpiPen®.

 Lots of things need to changeMylan needs to consider reducing the EpiPen® cost, Adrenaclick® needs to be more easily prescribed by healthcare professionals, and the FDA needs to approve other epinephrine autoinjectors.

It’s ridiculous that a drug worth less than a Big Mac is now worth $600. I really hope that the lack of cost-effective access to a life-saving drug doesn’t end with someone’s life NOT BEING SAVED.

FDOM16 INTRO

I’m 25, am working at AT&T, am studying Mass Communications, am a Catholic, am happily married, am ENFJ . . . and have fatal food allergies to all dairy and egg products. Which basically means I can’t eat a lot of foods. I can’t have cheese, I can rarely have chocolate, I have to be super careful about bread, and I am constantly scared of cross-contamination, even at restaurants I’ve been to before. Thankfully, I have a loving family and married into another one, so eating with them is always safe for me.

I’ve chosen to write about my allergies and my experiences at restaurants because:

  1. I’ve been trying to keep up with this blog since the start of the year and this project will ensure I continue to write.
  2. The amount of Americans with fatal food allergies has grown exponentially, and I believe that my lifelong experience with anaphylaxis could be used to help young children deal with their own allergies.
  3. I believe it’s of vital importance that those of y’all who don’t suffer from food allergies are made fully aware of the importance and severity of said allergies. Too many times I’ve had reactions because a server at a restaurant didn’t fully understand how important it was that my burger bun not be sauteed in butter. http://www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis
  4. I’m extremely passionate about teaching others about my allergies, so this project will allow me to broadcast my passion even more.
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08/02/2016: The morning after an allergic reaction to egg in a hamburger bun. In addition to swollen eyes, I also experienced itchy lips, hives, nausea, and shallow breathing. I had to give myself an Epi-Pen and had to miss work the following day.

My ideal audiences would be children/young adults who are also suffering from food allergies and feel left out or isolated — and those who don’t fully understand what anaphylaxis is.

I currently run an Instagram account regarding my food allergies, so I hope that keeping up with this blog will also ensure I keep up with my additional Instagram.