Big Pharma Only getting Bigger

Recently hiked prices for life-saving medicine has gotten out of hand. These unnecessary prices are even more ridiculous when some, who are uninsured, have to pay out of pocket for these vital prescriptions.

The big pharmaceutical companies are raking in billions of dollars off people in need of their products.

There are a number of pharmaceutical companies supplying the United States with medicine. According to the top three companies in our country are Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories. For now, let’s focus on the second company.

EpiPens are life-saving devices when applied to the thigh in a situation where someone is having a severe allergic reaction.

Not having an EpiPen handy when it’s needed can leave a person in a life-threatening position. A subsidiary of Pfizer, King, manufactures these EpiPens and they are then marketed by Mylan. They’re the only ones providing this device to those in need.

With no other companies, Pfizer has no competition, and as a result is setting their EpiPens at  outrageously steep prices.

According to, “At drug price-comparison website GoodRx, the cheapest price today is $614 for a package containing two, or more than $300 per EpiPen, up from about $100 for two.”

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Samantha Moore / Art Director

This is an astronomical figure when you take into account how cheap they are to produce. According to an article published on, written by Martha White, “Pharmaceutical industry experts estimate that the medicine and its auto-injector, for which Mylan charges roughly $300 a pop, cost around $30 to produce.”

It’s even more troubling to those who need EpiPens and have to pay these enormous sums for their medicine when they eventually expire. It’s a product that isn’t used very often, but is necessary to always have, just in case.

If the EpiPen expires, then all that money has gone to waste, and more will need to be handed over to Big Pharma for another.

The life-saving drug administered to those overdosing on heroin, Narcan, is a small fraction of the price of an EpiPen. Saving the life of someone overdosing on opioids costs $20 to $40, while saving the life of someone having an allergic reaction to anything adds a third digit to the price. The difference in price between Narcan and EpiPens makes absolutely no sense.

This financial strain may have an effect on some college students who are already short on cash. As stated above, if the EpiPen hasn’t been needed or used before its expiration date, hundreds more dollars will need to be shelled out in order to replace it with an updated version. Some students may not even have insurance to help cover the costs.

Imagine having to decide between paying rent or buying an EpiPen? EpiPens exceed some college student’s monthly rent. To better show how prevalent EpiPens are, two of our sixteen e-board members have them. However, Big Pharma extorts more medicine than just EpiPens.

Johnson and Johnson is a familiar company to some. They put forth things such as baby lotion and Band-Aids.

However, they also put forth a pricey pharmaceutical drug to treat type 2 diabetes. The average price for 30 tablets of Invokana 300mg is over $400. Most Medicare and insurance plans cover this, but for those who aren’t able to get it covered, that’s a large sum to pay for a needed prescription.

For some living in our country, paying for prescriptions and medical services is like paying rent to their landlord twice.

Financial strain should not be another obstacle to overcome for those in dire need of these prescriptions.

Big pharmaceutical companies are making a killing off of people who are just trying to continue living. The outrageous prices Big Pharma charges for some medicines need to be made more affordable so people aren’t forced to go broke while trying to stay healthy.

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