EpiPen price hike affects South students

Cal Noriega , Staff Writer

The recent spike in EpiPen prices has raised a fair amount of negative public attention, garnering disdain even from the Senate and the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.  This price raise affects a significant amount of people, including students at South.

South nurse Mary Rose Pitman estimates a minimum of 25 students carry EpiPens with them at South; in MCCSC there are 146 students carrying them. These EpiPens expire after one year, which causes them to lose their potency and become ineffective.  As a result of this, a yearly payment must be made for a new two-EpiPen set.  In 2009, this price was $100.  The price is now $600 for a two-pack.  Due to public pressure, however, the Mylan company, which makes the product, will release a $300 generic Epipen in several weeks.

Pitman commented that she “had insurance on [her] EpiPen, and the price was under $200.”  With the recent price change, however, she’s “kind of scared to go in and buy a new EpiPen because [she] might have to spend $400 on it.”

Pitman said South’s health office keeps extra EpiPens on hand in case a student or faculty member experiences an unexpected allergic reaction.

Sophomore Eric Seiffert was less concerned, stating that his “insurance covers most of it.”  On his experience owning an EpiPen, he said,  “I’ve mostly just carried it around and haven’t had to use it ever.  I found out that I was severely allergic to peanuts when I was 2 years old and had a reaction.  It’s definitely useful to have just in case something does happen, though.”

Seiffert did mention that “the price increase could definitely be a problem for people who aren’t as wealthy.  For people like that, a five times increase on something that’s already $100 could be quite drastic.”