Saturday, August 27, 2016

EpiPen - A Story of a Near-Disaster for Many People

You've been following the Epi-pen story, right?  How the price has gone up and up (just as the CEO's salary went up and up?)

Here's a local side to it from KUOW:
One solution to the soaring price of EpiPens: Build a replacement that costs a fraction as much.
Jim Duren of King County Emergency Medical Services told KUOW’s Kim Malcolm that his agency did just that in 2013, building its own injection kit.
Duren says his agency saved about $150,000 in the first year using the kits and now saves about $250,000 annually. That’s even though they’re used in more than twice as many situations than EpiPens were under the old protocol.

Duren says the King County EMS kit isn’t a candidate for the general market because of training required to use syringes. But he said the kits might be adaptable for use by schools.
Also to note, this story in the NY Times about how mad parents used social media to get this story out there.
Mellini Kantayya went online to, a service that collects signatures and then sends them to designated lawmakers, and created the petition “Stop the EpiPen Price Gouging,” which went live on July 11.
Then Ms. Kantayya shared the link with her 836 Facebook friends, with a post that began, “Stupid pharmaceutical company!”
What happened next is a lesson in the power of social media to help create a groundswell, particularly among a group as committed and motivated as the parents of children with food allergies, who must often buy multiple pens for home, school and day care. In just 45 days, Ms. Kantayya’s petition grew from a few dozen signatures to more than 80,000 people who sent more than 121,000 letters to Congress.

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