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EpiPen Ripoff

By now you must have heard about the EpiPen scandal.    It costs parents today more than $600 (the cost that many parents must pay due to high deductible of their insurance plans or their insurance plans do not cover) to buy the EpiPen for their kids who may need it and it must be replace yearly.    

The price of EpiPen has risen 450% in the last few years.    It's not a new drug or anything like that -- it actually existed since 1970s and the drug epinephrine in the EpiPen cost the drug manufacturer less than $1.    If you add the injection for the drug, it shouldn't cost the drug manufacturer more than $5.   And they are selling it for $300 per pen and you can only buy it in 2-pack, so it will cost the parents at least $600.   For many parents, it's a matter of life and death for their children.     About 1-2% of children who have allergies will need the EpiPen in their backpacks in case they accidentally eat or come into contact with the allergen that could trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which is a medical emergency.  The child/patient basically may go into hypotensive shock and may die in front of your eye unless the child is injected with a proper dose of epinephrine right away while being transported to a medical facility for better care.

I just checked with my relatives in Europe and the currently the EpiPen costs 40.40€ in France (about U.S. $45 for 1 and $84 for 2).   In Belgium and the Netherlands, it costs 43.03€ (about U.S. $49).      

Last year, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,556 percent (from US$13.5 to US$750 per tablet),    It's also an old drug.    The drug is for Toxoplasmosis -- a parasitic infection that immunocompromised patients such as HIV and cancer patients often have.     

It's outrageous and it's unbelievable that U.S. Congress allows drug companies to do this.    Government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare cannot negotiate drug prices in the U.S.    It's a national disgrace.    Even tiny European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands are able to negotiate drug prices for their citizens but the U.S. Congress allow drug companies to charge American citizens with outrageous prices.

The reason I mention about Epi-Pen and Daraprim is that our local Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, she is against legislation that allows the importation of drugs from civilized and industrialized countries such as Canada, Australia, and the European Union.     Pharmaceutical companies have been one of Congresswoman Lofgren's biggest contributors to her campaigns.     The last election cycle (2014), the drug companies contributed $19,000 to her campaign and she has consistently voted NO on legislation that makes it cheaper for American consumers to buy drugs overseas.   

For $19,000, she is willing to put American children at risk of dying if their parents cannot afford the $600 Epi-Pen.

Just go to and see for yourself and while you are at the website, check out how much our Congresswoman Lofgren got for throwing American professionals and veteran families who work in high-tech under the bus with her corrupted H-1B program.   By not punishing her, you are sending a disturbing message to the whole world saying that a politician will be rewarded handsomely by selling out her/his constituents without penalty.

 Personal Drug Importation Fairness Act of 2015 (our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is AGAINST this bill)

It fits into her pattern of selling out American citizens out for corporate interests.      If her Congressional vote is not for sale, then what is it?     She is protecting the profit margin of drug companies. She pretends that she is for safety reasons (yeah if you believe in her lies and deception).     The drugs selling in Canada, Australia, Japan, and Western Europe are exactly the same as in the U.S., they are from the same drug companies with the same ingredients, etc.    The only difference are the labels and the prices.   


14 September 2008

Just Who is Zoe Lofgren?

Rob Sanchez recently blogged here on Lou Dobb’s latest report on guest worker visas–and the key role Zoe Lofgren is playing in attempts to expand guest worker visa availability. 

What is telling is just who is funding Zoe Lofgren’s campaign. Her top 5 contributors are:

Cisco Systems $11,000

Microsoft Corp $ 8,000

National Venture Capital Assn         $ 8,000

Sun Microsystems $ 8,000

Seagate Technology  $ 7,900 

Now, where I suspect the real conflict of interest comes in through her husband’s corporate law firm.

124boyz July 26, 2011 at 3:09PM

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., paid her husband's firm, Collins and Day, $285,481 over the past six years, the report says.

Lofgren says her husband, John Marshall Collins, has dissolved the firm, which provided accounting, fundraising and regulatory compliance services.

In addition, Lofgren's campaign paid John Marshall Collins PC, a second company controlled by her husband, $62,705 for rent and office services, the report found 


 is a trusted commenter Downtown Verona, NJ 1 day ago

And now...permanently on sale in Canada, often with no prescription necessary, the Mylan EpiPen, retail cost $131 USD.

The United States pharmaceutical-medical-political industrial complex is strictly a 'your money or your life' mafia operation.

"It'd be a shame if something terrible happened to those little asthmatic children", says Big PhRMA, their lobbyist front men and their bribed Congressional prostitutes 

(My comment:   sounds like our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren -- Oops, I forgot, American high-tech professionals already call her by that name -- now she is corporate P for big PhRMA too? )

You see, America is different from Canada - America is "exceptional" - a place where extortion, 0.1% parasitism and corporate welfare are the bedrock values of the American Pirate Ship. 

The reality is that Canada is a country with a conscience and representative government.

America, on the other hand, is a country without a conscience and without a representative government....except for the representation of the rich.

Every one of us needs to go out and buy an EpiPen in Canada and collectively stab each of our Congressmen and Senators to let them know we really appreciate their sincere, ongoing efforts at serving the public they have such contempt for.

This will cure Congress of its allergic reaction to democracy and representative government.

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 Crook 10 hours ago

Let's take a stroll down memory lane.

This is the result of both parties ineptness. Most on our repr sensations aren't smart enough to use email let alone write legislation. It is all a fraud. 

Mylan's CEO has a questionable MBA from an institution ran by politics (see NYT article). I don't care which party it is, (Dem/GOP) they are both corrupt to the core. Heather Bresch is the daughter of the former governor of West Virginia and current US Senator. We are told he is the "moderate" dem and a supporter of the middle class. Until we wake up and see that both parties are one and the same this will continue. I guarantee the politicians up for re-election are crying foul only to crawl in there holes once re-elected. If they are voted out, where do they go, lobby for big business. It's all a cycle. Wake up America and vote out every incumbent in each party. 

How do you become a multimillionaire on a public salary over a 30-40 year period?? Career politicians have to go.

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 NYC 13 hours ago

That is very correct. The entire apparatus the cheap generic drug plus the simple delivery system probably costs less than $10 for Mylan to manufacture. They then retail them for $300 or more each. Why. Because they can get away with it. Why. Because our government does nothing to stop them from doing so. Our government has even made it illegal for Americans to buy EpiPens from Canada where they are far cheaper. 

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elisabeth mtr

 connecticut 10 hours ago

My son has moderate food allergies, but has never (knock wood) come close to having an anaphylactic reaction. Yet, his doctor recommended an Epi-Pen, and as soon as we disclose any allergies, so do his schools and camp. So, for a child with only a vague possibility of a severe allergic reaction, we are required to keep an Epi-Pen at his school, his after-school program, his camp, and at home. That's two twin-packs every year, for a cost of over $1,000. And then every year, we get to throw out the unused but expired ones, and have to buy them all over again. Our insurance only covered Auvi-Q, so when that was pulled off the shelves last year, we had to pay the entire $1,200 Epi-Pen cost out of pocket. It was quite tempting to say, "Well, our son's never really had a serious allergic reaction, so maybe we can just do without...." The fact that even a middle class family may be forced to choose between their child's potential health and the cost of medication is reprehensible. Once R&D and production costs are recouped, there should be mandated limits on what monopolies can charge for life-saving drugs. Or such monopolies must not be allowed to occur in the pharmaceutical world to begin with. Once again, most other "developed" countries seemed to have figured this out. Why do we lag so far behind? 

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 ogden 2 hours ago

A year or so ago the Times did an excellent series on medical care, including a hard look at the price of asthma medications.

The result was startling -- drugs that sell for $20 in England sell -- same drug, same dispenser, same manufacturer -- for ten times as much in the US.

Why? Because they can. Because nobody in Congress is willing to lose the donations from Big Pharma which have made congress an owned subsidiary of the drug makers.

When the Times stories came out, everyone yelled and screamed and nothing happened. When Turing Labs was caught jacking up the price of a vital AidS drug 1000 percent everyone yelled and screamed, and nothing happened.

And so it will be now. Everyone will yell and scream, and nothing will happen.

Maybe when a member of Congress loses a child to an asthma attack, or a bee sting, or AIDS, then something will happen? Of course not.

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 NY 10 hours ago

I am outraged. I have a severely food allergic child, who requires an Epipen be kept at school, at home, and an extra in case one malfunctions. I went to fill his prescription and I was told by CVS that the cost is $1,835 for three sets. I have insurance, but I have a "high deductible" plan (probably the effect of Obamacare). So I have to pay $1,835 for life-saving medication for my child. This is unconscionable. I called CVS and CVS blamed Mylan. I called Mylan and Mylan blamed the retail resellers. No one tales blame for the outrageous cost that I will have to bear. Again, it is unconscionable. If Obama can put in place the failed and flawed Obamacare, he should have enacted laws to regulate pharmaceutical companies. I understand they have to make a profit but it is beyond comprehension that they are allowed to rape and plunder parents' savings accounts for life saving medication that is NOT a choice. Someone needs to put a law in place. I hope government officials are reading this and that someone works to stop Mylan and the pharmacies from enacting these prices.

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 Australia 10 hours ago

Living in Australia we have Universal Health Care and also the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) whereby our Government subsidizes the costs of all Drugs to Citizens whilst also negotiating the prices of the drugs with Pharmaceutical Companies so that the costs are more reasonable than the Criminal Highway Robbery they charge Americans and no other Country accepts.

Funny thing that.If a country does not accept the high prices a company tries to charge for its drug, they drop the price significantly.

Every time.

nyway...we here in Australia pay no more than US$33 for our drugs on the PBS and if you are poor, a senior or unemployed then you pay no more than US$ 5.50.

So an EpiPen twin pack costs $33.00 or $5.50 depending on who you are....but no Australian pays more than $33.

Our Universal Health coverage and PBS costs less than 50% per capita than the dysfunctional system you have in the U.S and performs better giving better outcomes.

It is time America followed the rest of the developed World and gives its Citizens efficient affordable Universal Health Coverage and Care.

People before Profit...a lesson you must learn.


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Cynthia Ward

 Honolulu 10 hours ago

Not only did the cost of Epipens go up 450% since 2007, the CEO's compensation went up 671%. Stock prices tripled and lobbying expenses went from $270,000 to 1.2 million. See this eye-opening NBC article at


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Elizabeth Becker

 Asheville, North Carolina 13 hours ago

Almost everyone in my family has some kind of life-threatening allergy and, like the author, we all carry EpiPens wherever we go. Given the current prices, any given family gathering is likely to include tens of thousands of dollars of EpiPens. My father has "died" and been resuscitated from anaphylactic shock three times; if there hadn't been a bunch of EpiPens around (administered with a doctor on the phone while waiting for the ambulance to arrive), he probably would have died and, for want of a better description, stayed that way. 

We all have health insurance that will offset much of the cost of our EpiPens.. What about those folks who have neither health insurance nor money? What happens when this prohibitively expensive life saver is beyond the means of people who could easily die without it? Even the generic, at an also pricey $300, is too expensive for many. When non-rich people start dying because they lacked an EpiPen due to Mylan's profiteering, will the company's executives be prosecuted for negligent homicide? I certainly hope so.


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J N Hull

 Philadelphia, Pa 13 hours ago

As a 40 yr ER nurse - I know what epi can do.

I wish greedy shareholders could see a child pulled back from the brink of death, recover in minutes and go home again.

To make this inexpensive, lifesaving drug unaffordable isn't "business", it's an immoral crime against our shared humanity.

Why isn't this illegal?


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