Epic Epipen Price Gouging


I’m allergic to something but I haven’t figured out what it is yet. Every six months or so I break out all over. I don’t know if it’s from alcohol, laundry detergent, patchouli on a skanky girl? I just don’t know but Benadryl always takes care of it, knocks me out and I have a great nap. But my life isn’t threatened by a bee sting or from whiffing a peanut. Thankfully, Benadryl is sold over the counter and isn’t expensive and it taste kinda like a Five-Hour Energy…which I’m pretty sure doesn’t make me break out.

For people whose lives can be threatened by an allergic reaction, the Epipen can be a life saver. Since neither I or my son ever needed the product, I had to do some research before creating my cartoon.

The pen used to be sold in a single pack and it cost around $50 to $60. Then doctors recommended buying them in pairs since one pen might turn out to be a dud, so the company that marketed the pens started to sell them only in pairs. The pen has a shelf life of about a year so eventually you’ll have to buy them again. That expensive pen you bought may not have even been used if you managed to get through the year without encountering chunky peanut butter.

Then Mylan came along, bought the company, registered in the Netherlands (tax reasons, yo), and jacked the price up 500% so a pair of pens will cost you around $600. Their CEO, Heather Bresch, daughter of United States senator from West Virginia Joe Manchen, had her salary increased from $2 million to $18 million. Yowzah!

What’s a price-gouging corporate CEO to do under such public outrage? Blame Obamacare. Never mind that it only costs the corporation around a dollar to create each pen, and that the price in Canada is around $50, or that Mylan was actually trying to jack the price even higher after a competitor folded.

Bresch does have one defender. Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli, the CEO who jacked up the price of Daraprim over 5,000%, believes the Epipen’s price is too low.

Once upon a time the leeches were thought to be a cure and not the CEOs of major pharmaceutical companies.

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  1. Having spent over twenty years of my life fighting with insurance companies, I can speak from my own experience that capitalism has no business in your health, my health, or anyone’s health. I’ve written thousands of appeal letters, after insurance creeps denied paying for care (they don’t mind you giving their patients care, as long as they don’t have to pay for it)

    Hospital business office managers, along with their corresponding utilization review nurses/agents, are on the front line fighting for healthcare for patients. It’s been this way since insurance actuaries and their lobbyists helped create the rule about harm: the moment the patient says they don’t want to harm themselves or others, they are deemed “dischargable”. Chronic mental health patients learn this very early on, they know the magic words to get into the hospital, and the magical words they will get them out. I experienced first hand the horrors of discharging a patient too early, watching an acquaintance terrorize Albuquerque, killing folks all day long. Google [ John Hyde Albuquerque MSNBC ] or just go here: http://goo.gl/gZyrbV

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It surprises most people, but leaches still have medical use, primarily in relieving locally high blood pressure and reduce swelling at injury sites. However, only harm results from putting them in management positions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Saving lives has a price tag. A really big hefty price tag. It takes away all you have worked your whole life for and leaves you destitute. Why seek care when in the end it takes your life. Read Robin Cook’s book “Host”. Robin Cook is an MD and also fiction writer who exposes health care in America in his latest fiction work “HOST”.


  4. I really love your posts & comics. I don’t want my question to seem like I’m detracting from how much I enjoy your posts: Where did you get the information that Martin Shkreli thinks they should be charging more? I only ask, because I read where he said that this company’s CEOs are “vultures.” Potentially without a hint of irony, despite his own price-gouging.

    I would be much more likely to believe he said that they weren’t charging enough, so I’d like to see where he said it. Was it on Twitter or Facebook or to a news media outlet?


      1. Ah! Thank you so much. I must admit, I’ve been a fan of your comics for a while so please forgive me if my reply is a bit… erm… starstruck.

        That sounds much more like him than his supposed reply to NBC, via the telephone. I’m glad that his (bad) reputation – in my mind only, of course! – remains intact. Thank you, again, for setting me straight.


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