FARE Supports New Legislation to Limit Cost of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors to $60 for Two
Jan 22, 2024
January 11, 2024 (McLean, VA) - FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has thrown its support behind a significant legislative effort led by Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-FL-10). The proposed bill, named the Epinephrine’s Pharma Inflated Price Ends Now Act or "EPIPEN Act," aims to regulate the pricing of epinephrine auto-injectors, capping them at $60 for a pair. As the sole Gen Z representative in the U.S. House and someone who personally grapples with severe food allergies, Rep. Frost's initiative resonates deeply with those affected.
Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of FARE, expressed the organization’s gratitude for Rep. Frost's proactive steps: "With over 33 million Americans depending on epinephrine auto-injectors for potentially life-threatening food allergies, we appreciate Rep. Frost’s move to make these essential devices more affordable. We endorse this bill wholeheartedly and encourage other House members to support it."
Current prices for these auto-injectors are steep, with brand-name EpiPens costing between $650 and $730, and generics priced from $320 to $750. This puts a life-saving medication out of reach for many. This issue isn't new; a CNN report from seven years ago highlighted a 400% price hike since 2007.
Jason Linde, FARE’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy, criticized the inflated prices, referencing a 2016 CNBC report that estimated the actual medicine in each injector to be worth around one dollar, and the San Jose Mercury News' finding that manufacturing a two-pack costs merely $8.
Compounding the problem are the prevalent high-deductible health insurance plans, often requiring individuals and families to pay substantial out-of-pocket expenses before coverage kicks in. This is a significant burden, especially for the 55.7% of Americans in such plans, who, as reported by NBC News, are paying thousands annually due to these deductibles.
Linde illustrated the dilemma faced by families, like one with a young child allergic to peanuts, who may end up spending as much as or more than their mortgage payments on necessary epinephrine auto-injectors for home and school.
Despite arguments that price caps might stifle innovation, the EpiPen has seen little change over the years, nor has competition reduced its cost. This stagnation calls for legislative intervention.
FARE is encouraged by Rep. Frost’s action, especially following similar price cap laws passed in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island last year. Linde emphasized the need for the food allergy community to rally in support of the EPIPEN Act.
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Learn More About FARE: As a leading non-profit in food allergy advocacy and the largest private supporter of food allergy research, FARE is committed to transforming the future of food allergies. Through innovative education, advocacy, and research initiatives, FARE is at the forefront of developing new treatments, prevention strategies, policies, and legislation. Discover more at www.foodallergy.org.