ERIN BAKER; Online Copy Editor;

Allergies. We all know someone who has them, or we might have them ourselves. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, approximately 3.6 million Americans have such severe allergic reactions that they depend on a life-saving medical device: the epinephrine auto-injector, commonly known as the EpiPen.

You would think such a necessity would be readily available to those who need it most, right? Wrong. Due to extreme price hikes this year, only a fraction of those who need the EpiPen are able to afford it.

Since 2008, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the EpiPen, has raised the price of a two-pack of the drug from $100 to $600. Mylan is the sole maker of the EpiPen, meaning that it has no competition in the health industry. According to the New York Post, Mylan has spent over $2 million lobbying in Washington, D.C. I feel this money has been wasted and should have instead been focused on allowing easier access to the EpiPen.

According to the New York Post, not only has Mylan spent millions of dollars lobbying, but they have also donated thousands of dollars towards election campaigns. Like many companies, they want to support candidates who endorse their products.

However, this is terrible public relations for those who actually buy their products. There is no other pharmaceutical company that makes EpiPens as of yet, but if this price hike continues, there may be other companies that can attain Mylan’s customers through lower prices. It’s not necessary to send money to those who can afford the product, yet will not buy it.

As someone whose father uses EpiPens, I know what it’s like living in constant fear of losing someone I love. I am concerned for those who may not have the insurance to pay for such a high price, and therefore have to forego buying a life-saving drug. Which is more important to you, Mylan: profit or life?

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