EpiPen Delivers Epinephrine and Healthcare Insight: Price Gouging and Medical Extortion

Dan Munro | LinkedIn Pulse | August 27, 2016

The header image is a chart that was part of an article by Bloomberg — written over two years ago (May, 2014). The data itself goes back 9 years. Mylan's price gouging was front and center this week, but the issue has been actively percolating for years. It has also erupted before and it will again. Everyone's squawking and legislators are "looking into it," but it won't be solved this year — or even this election cycle. Here's why.

Dan MunroMylan's pricing controversy with EpiPen is the same controversy that plagues much of U.S. healthcare. As a country — and as individuals — we don’t like it when there’s a BIG, obvious imbalance between the cost of healthcare and the need for it at scale — especially for kids. Our indignation is righteous. The EpiPen delivers about $1 worth of a drug (epinephrine) easily and quickly to avoid a life threatening condition (anaphylactic shock). The company that manufactures the EpiPen — Mylan — has raised the price dramatically through the years — especially relative to the cost of either the drug or the delivery mechanism. 

We can't really claim ignorance here, EpiPen is one of the drugs in that Bloomberg chart (published in 2014) in the header. As hard as it may be to believe, the reason for all the increases isn't complex or complicated at all. It's simple. They raise prices because they can — and the EpiPen is a BIG moneymaker for Mylan. But the EpiPen controversy isn’t unique to Mylan. It's the exact same controversy in that Bloomberg chart and the one sparked by Martin Shkreli last year (with the drug Daraprim)...