The actress wouldn't stand for the insane price hike on the lifesaving drug that her son—and millions more—rely on
The recent and drastic price hike of the lifesaving injectable allergy medicine, EpiPen, caused nothing short of a firestorm against the drug's manufacturer, Mylan, this week. Since they began manufacturing EpiPen, the price has risen by almost 550 percent, an astonishing markup from the $57 it started at when the company first acquired the rights to sell the medication in 2007. Now, that very same drug would cost you more than $600. And having insurance doesn't help much either, with Bloomberg reporting that even after insurance deductions two EpiPens will cost you roughly $415. When there are so many people (many of which are school-aged kids) who have severe allergies, purchasing EpiPens is a necessity regardless of the price, so it's not surprising that this spike in cost would send people—celebs included—into an uproar.
One star who is particularly appalIed: Sarah Jessica Parker. In a recent Instagram post, SJP announced that she'd be ending her partnership with Mylan, whom she worked with on a campaign promoting awareness about anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. The issue hits particularly close to home for Parker, as her son James Wilkie has a severe peanut allergy and relies on carrying an EpiPen with him at all times. (P.S. It's true that food allergies are on the rise. Here's why.) She explained her decision, making sure to be crystal clear about why she is parting ways with the drug manufacturer.
"I'm left disappointed, saddened, and deeply concerned by Mylan's actions," she wrote. "I do not condone this decision and I have ended my relationship with Mylan as a direct result of it. I hope they will seriously consider the outpouring of voices of those millions of people who are dependent on the device, and take swift action to lower the cost."
Parker wasn't the only heavy hitter to speak up, either. USA Today reports that The White House and Hillary Clinton have also condemned Mylan's actions, noting it raises some moral questions about the company. Since the backlash, Mylan has released a statement announcing that they will cover up to $300 of the out-of-pocket cost for the drug at the pharmacy, effectively cutting the financial burden for patients in half. The company says it will also widen its patient assistance program, which will help those who are uninsured or under-insured. This decision will cost Mylan about 10 percent of their total expected revenue for the drug, reports The Wall Street Journal.
While this cost-covering measure is certainly a step in the right direction, at a cost of anywhere from $115-$300 filling an EpiPen prescription still doesn't com cheap—and not filling the Rx simply isn't an option for those who desperately need it. Let's hope Mylan and other medication manufacturers around the country hear the outcries of patients, parents, and politicians, and remember that we won't stand for these price hikes silently.