Rising EpiPen costs may leave children with food allergies at risk

EpiPens save lives when severe allergic reactions occur, but rising costs of the most commonly used epinephrine injectors are leaving many families broke. FOX 10's Linda Williams reports.

- The outcry over the spike in the cost of EpiPens continues to grow and now Congress is getting involved.

The EpiPens inject a life-saving medicine to those having a dangerous allergic reaction and we spoke with one valley mother who is worried about this price increase.

Her family can afford the price increase, but she is worried about the many more families who can't afford it. She says when you need this in an emergency, it is a matter of life and death.

Karen Conway is well-versed in EpiPens. Her 10-year-old son, Dylan has a severe peanut allergy. EpiPens delivering epinephrine are his lifeline if he is accidentally exposed.

"He gets hives, his throat will swell and he'll eventually stop breathing because the body things the peanut is poison," said Conway.

The family is exceedingly careful, but just in case, they have a 2-pack of EpiPens at Dylan's school and a 2-pack of EpiPens at home that they take when they go on outings.

Conway says when Dylan was first diagnosed eight years ago, a 2-pack of EpiPens cost about $100. Now the cost is about $500 and that's with insurance.

"I realize things go up in cost, but its unfathomable to me that's a reasonable increase," said Conway, who adds while they can afford it, she knows other families who can't.

"It's not okay. There's kids running around in school that can't afford this. They could stop breathing and die because they can't afford the medicine that's going to keep them safe and it's sad and it's maddening."

Conway has joined thousands of others in signing a petition urging Congress to look into the drug maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals and its EpiPen pricing.

More than 67,000 people have signed the petition, saying Mylan is using its monopoly to profit.

Congress is now asking questions and says it will take a closer look at the company's pricing.


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