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Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger Attorneys at Law

EpiPen cost rises- What this means for Florida residents


EpiPen, the life-saving allergy product, is now a $1 billion a year business for Mylan, the drug company that is currently under fire for the startling surge in EpiPen pricing. In 2007, an EpiPen cost about $57, as of today the EpiPen costs over $600- although the injectable medicine costs less than $1 and has a shelf life of about 12 months.

If you’ve been stocking your home with EpiPens since around 2010, you would have noticed a change in your prescription. It was around that time that new guidelines from the FDA stated that patients who get the 0.3 mg dose of epinephrine in a single EpiPen should actually be prescribed two 0.3 mg doses.

People with costly health insurance pay about $30 for each EpiPen. Not everyone is as fortunate. Families with lower cost, high deductible plans are reportedly paying $150 to $400 for a single pack of EpiPen. And parents, who now see EpiPens as a necessity are fearing for their children’s lives when they can’t access the drug. Especially when the new normal established by public awareness campaigns is that people at risk for anaphylactic shock should have multiple EpiPens- at work, in the car, at home, at school, and on their person.

So what does this mean for those people at risk of an anaphylactic shock living in Florida?

In 2014, Governor Scott signed the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (HB 1131) into law which helps to increase the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors. This law allows restaurants, theme parks, youth camps and sports leagues, and other businesses to have supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors. State Senator Aaron Bean of Jacksonville and State Representative Matt Hudson of Naples were the sponsors of this important legislation. This legislation not only offers protections for people who suffer from life-threatening allergies, but it also provides civil liability protections for health care providers, pharmacists and others who maintain and administer this emergency treatment.

In 2015, Mylan stated that in the state of Florida, 684 public, private and charter schools are participating in the EpiPen4Schools program. This program offers four free EpiPen or EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors to qualifying schools. There are 12 schools participating in Palm Beach County (three in Boca Raton, five in North Palm Beach, and one each in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach).

Read more about the national controversy involving Mylan here

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