EpiPens costing $600 “not an option” for people with serious allergies

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The price of a twin pack of EpiPens is up from less than $100 a decade ago, to more than $600 today.

“People who rely on these for life-saving, have to have these medications available,” Dr. Chris Doll said at The Medical Center, Navicent Health.

Millions of people, mostly children, need to have access to an EpiPen, but easy access is prohibited because the cost, even with insurance and coupons is so high.

Mylan is the pharmaceutical company that creates the EpiPen. The CEO, Heather Bresch appeared in front of the House Oversight Committee in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, taking heat for price gouging.

“We’ve worked diligently and invested to enhance EpiPen and make it more available,” Bresch said.

Dr. Chris Doll, who works in the pharmacy department of Navicent Health says he knows the necessity of EpiPens all to well. He had to use one on his son.

“He was at day care one day, and they called me and said ‘hey he’s got a couple of fire ant bites on his leg, he’s starting to develop some welts on him,'” Doll said.

That’s when he showed up with the popular epinephrine shot.

“By the time I had gotten there, his hives had gotten real bad. I said we need to go ahead and administer this now,” Doll said.

Dr. David Plaxico at Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Macon says EpiPen has a monopoly because they sell the best product.

“This is sort of a time proven device that will give you the dose and give it appropriately when you need it,” Plaxico said.

The higher price has forced those with strong allergies to change how many EpiPens they can buy and store.

“With the price being as expensive as they are, they have to rely more on making sure they have one on their person,” Doll said.

Both doctors warn people with strong allergies to things like food and insects to always keep an EpiPen available.