Food Allergy Organization Wants EpiPen Access Programs

The outrage over the surging price of Mylan’s (NASDAQ:MYL) EpiPen continues while the company’s board remains silent.

In 2007, Mylan purchased the company that manufactured the EpiPen, a device used to inject epinephrine for a person suffering from anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. At that time, the cost of the product was $57. This week, the price for two injectors spiked to $500 or greater – a more than 400% increase.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, food allergies affect an estimated 4% to 6% of U.S. children.

Dr. James Baker, CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education [FARE] said “two children in every kindergarten class now have a clinically significant food allergy,” while discussing the recent surge in pricing during an interview on the FOX Business Network.

“Our major concern is that our members who all, literally everyone requires this life-saving drug, have access to it regardless of price,” he said. “And I think what we’ve seen over the past year or so is that as the number of competitors in the market has decreased, as Mylan’s percentage has increased, the price has gone up.”

Dr. Baker added: “Not only just the price, but the price people are seeing has gone up because under the ACA [Affordable Care Act], insurers are causing people to pay more of the price for these drugs before they cover them with their insurance.”

Mylan is among FARE’s corporate sponsors. However, Baker said the drug company is “less than three or five percent of our overall revenue” and the funding “just goes for activities.”

Due to the surge in pricing, a main concern for Baker and FARE is the ability for the organization’s members to have the product.

“We’re asking [Mylan] to set up access programs so no child is without epinephrine because they can’t afford it,” Baker said.