Must Hear: How Smart Marketing Transformed EpiPen Into A Billion-Dollar Product

Yesterday, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a segment entitled “How Smart Marketing Transformed EpiPen Into A Billion-Dollar Product”. The 5-minute interview by host Robert Siegel of Cynthia Koons, a reporter for Bloomberg Business who published a report on the topic last week, is well worth your time especially if your family relies on epinephrine to stay safe. You can listen to it here:

Koons discusses how Mylan, the pharmaceutical company behind EpiPen, acquired the product in 2007 from a German firm and turned it into the household name we know today. She also discusses the cost of the product as well as Mylan’s aggressive campaign to have stock epinephrine located at schools and other places of public accommodation.

Before continuing, please note that Mylan is a sponsor of SnackSafely.com.

As we always have, we fully endorse efforts requiring stock epinephrine be located in all places of public accommodation, much like the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) you see everywhere. We are firm believers that expanded access to epinephrine will make tragic deaths like those of the past few weeks less likely. We applaud Mylan’s continuing efforts to promote stock epinephrine in the schools and elsewhere.

We also believe that live-saving medicines should be readily available and affordable to all that must rely on them. Greater competition in the epinephrine auto-injector market should be fostered, as well as expanded insurance coverage to drive the copays for epinephrine down while covering those that currently must pay for their auto-injectors entirely out-of-pocket.

Simply put, no family should face hardship in order to protect themselves from anaphylaxis.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. What is the average cost of Epi-Pen Jr 2 pak? I can’t find this info anywhere. We are being charged $362.97 at CVS. I have the Epi-Pen coupon but to have 2 children with life-threatening allergies and having to have a pak at home and at school….the cost is so high. Is there a way to verify cost as Epi-Pen seems to hold the market and has almost no competitors.

  2. Once again, SnackSafely.com just as all the other non-profits that take funding from Mylan fails to criticize what Mylan has done to the pricing. A subdued “no family should face hardship in order to protect themselves from anaphylaxis” is all we get. This story accurately shows how crony capitalism keeps the price of drugs (along with so many other things) artificially high. The FDA along with lawmakers are bought and paid for by these drug companies just like these non-profits. The patient discussed is real and doesn’t get much airtime because the groups that are supposed to be advocating for us don’t speak up. You all should be ashamed, but I doubt you are.

    • Joseph, if we were “cronies” in fear of losing sponsorships, we never would have published this article in the first place.

      I take pride in the journalism we practice as well as the service we provide to the allergic community. We are forthright in citing our sources; provide clear, unambiguous disclosures of our relationships; and advocate for greater competition in the auto-injector space as well as broader universal insurance coverage. Our reputation stands on its own.

      And a point of correction: SnackSafely.com does not have non-profit status.

  3. We can’t afford the epi-pen for my husband’s allergies. We went recently to get his refilled and the charge was almost $500. He said no way. We looked for a coupon as advised by our pharmacist and it was only $100 off. He still said no to $400 to something he may not have to use.

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