[image credit: KUTV Salt Lake]
Manufacturer charges astronomic price for lifesaving treatment
When Mylan Pharmaceuticals raised the price of EpiPen by 600%, the Salt Lake City Fire Department (which oversees paramedics and EMTs) struggled to afford the price hike.
Solution: A slightly less sophisticated alternative can be dramatically cheaper
Cary Turner, EMT trainer and coordinator for the city, went on a mission to find a cheaper alternative to the EpiPen device. After obtaining approval from the city, he turned to a simple syringe and vial of epinephrine.
“It does exactly the same thing,” Turner said, holding up the kit. “This was $3.50 versus $400.”
The process of correctly dosing out the correct amount of epinephrine is slightly more complicated, and required a few minutes of training for the paramedics, but there have been no incidents since the change.
According to a local pharmacy, rank-and-file citizens are able to obtain a vial of epinephrine for a few dollars, with a doctor’s prescription.
- KUTV Salt Lake | SLC emergency responders beat soaring costs of EpiPens
Limitations & Criticisms
- This may work for a trained EMT, but is significantly harder for consumers. We need to make the auto-injector accessible.
- Take the autoinjector off-patent