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.