PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Local and national health care advocates are demanding change. On Tuesday, they’ll present petitions with a half million signatures on the doorsteps at Mylan Corporate Headquarters in Washington County. The petitions accuse the corporation of price gouging to earn millions from sales of the EpiPen.
“When you compare the cost, it has risen from over the last six or seven years, it’s been like a two or three or four hundred percent increase,” said Ed Grystar with the Western Pennsylvania Coalition For Single Payer Healthcare.
The EpiPen carries a drug that helps millions who suffer from severe and even life-threatening allergies. Grystar said the same pen costs a hundred dollars in Canada.
“This is just another example of a corrupt system run for big money,” he said.
Allegations of price gouging have also caught Washington’s attention. Congressman Tim Murphy chairs the oversight and investigations subcommittee on energy and commerce. He’s calling for an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration.
“The FDA has really slow-walked other options for EpiPen systems it’s been taking an exorbitant amount of time and that has allowed one company to dominate the market,” he said.
Murphy said Congress also wants to know why is the cost so high.
“We know that epenephrine itself is about a dollars worth of medication but what is it that made the device so complex and so expensive,” he said.
Meanwhile Grystar believes the only solution is a health care system that eliminates insurance company overhead.
“Instead of paying insurance premiums you pay a graduated income tax the government than negotiates will the prices with the drug companies with the hospitals with the providers.”