People living with food allergies are seeing a hike in the price of their medication. Since 2007, the price of an EpiPen two-pack has increased from $100 to more than $600 for the lifesaving medication.
"At the cost over $600 per set it is just not accessible," said Emily Brown.
Brown is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit group Food Equality Initiative. The group launched a Johnson County food pantry made especially for people with allergies.
For Brown, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance cover the costs for her daughters' allergy treatments. However Brown said some families come to the pantry with a prescription for the drug they can't afford to fill.
“It is just devastating when you see families you know making that choice and playing Russian roulette, and it's outrageous that a company would put profits before you know patient care and access you know. Lives are literally on the line," said Brown.
Mylan is the only company that makes the EpiPen, which injects the lifesaving epinephrine. The EpiPen expires, so families have to buy a new one every year. On Thursday, Mylan announced they will provide saving cards worth $300 to families who face high out-of-pocket costs.
Brown said more needs to be done.
"I think it's better than what has been offered, but quite frankly I think some families are still going to be stuck paying close to $300, and that's still, in my opinion, that is too much for a lifesaving drug that everyone needs to have access to," said Brown.
A study from this year completed by Northwestern University found low income families pay two times as much for food allergy medical costs than wealthier families.
Ali Hoxie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org