ANAPHYLAXIS IS A LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY REQUIRING IMMEDIATE INJECTION OF EPINEPHRINE. RECENT EYE-POPPING PRICE HIKES FOR PRE-FILLED AUTO-INJECTORS HAVE THREATENED THE VERY SURVIVAL OF UNFORTUNATE VICTIMS
Anaphylaxis is a frightening term to those suffering from severe allergies. It relates to a potentially life-threatening collapse of circulation often resulting in dropping blood pressure and swelling airways. Immediate medical attention is required to avert the possibility of death. The emergency treatment of anaphylaxis requires immediate injections of epinephrine to short circuit the deadly process.
Unfortunately for patients threatened with this medical calamity, the only current manufacturer of pre-filled auto-injectors of EPI have seen fit to raise the price to an astronomical level- over $600 for a twopack of prefilled syringes. Some patients have frequent episodes of anaphylaxis and may require treatment on multiple occasions in the course of a month, thus putting the cost truly out of reach for this potentially life-saving therapy.
So I decided to look at the going price for epinephrine and appropriate syringes to administer it. What I found was as bracing as a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart!
The multi-use vial of epinephrine pictured will yield thirty doses of epinephrine and can be stored at room temperature. It retails for around $12 – or less than one dollar per dose.
The syringes used to administer the epinephrine are widely available as well. One example is shown below.
These syringes retail for about $20 for 100 syringes. This brings the total cost of one therapeutic injection of epinephrine to about $1.20. Compare that to the greater than $300 cost of the pre-filled auto-injector!
Simply pre-filling a few insulin syringes and keeping them in a safe and handy place will not only potentially save a life but will also save the patient critical funds for other important expenditures.
How does a company CEO justify charging such outrageous amounts and still be able to sleep at night.