A class action lawsuit was recently filed against Mylan over the extreme price increase of the EpiPen. The class action lawsuit was filed in Northern California’s U.S. District Court and alleges that Mylan participated in price gouging when they raised the EpiPen price more than 600%. The class action lawsuit members allege that Mylan has a monopoly over the market and the price increase “goes far beyond what is reasonable or fair to the consumers relying on this life-saving device.”
The Importance of an EpiPen
If you don’t need an EpiPen or if you don’t know someone who needs an EpiPen, you may not understand why this class action lawsuit is important. An EpiPen is used by people who have life threatening allergies. Life threatening allergies to peanuts, peanut butter, bee stings, shellfish, and other products cause people to go into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is life threatening because of its quick onset. The body reacts to something it is allergic to and it often causes shortness of breath, swelling of the throat or tongue, vomiting, and could even cause someone’s throat to swell shut.
An EpiPen is what is known as an autoinjector. It has adrenaline in it. If someone goes into anaphylactic shock, they would use the EpiPen in a certain spot of their body and the premeasured dose of adrenaline would be automatically injected into them. The use of an EpiPen does not mean that the person in shock doesn’t need to get medical help. They will still need medical treatment, but an EpiPen drastically increases the chance of someone surviving this scenario.
How the Price Increase Affected Those Who Need It Most
In 2007, a person who needed an EpiPen could get the prescription from their doctor, go to the pharmacy, and pay a little less than $60 without insurance to get two EpiPens. For individuals who struggle to make the ends meet or who need to buy them for their children to keep at school, the price of EpiPens is an important factor. Since 2009, Mylan has raised the price of EpiPen 15 times.
The last price increase put EpiPen out of the reach of people who need it most. It costs over $600 to purchase a two pack; and a two pack is the only way that EpiPens are sold. Even for those with insurance under the Affordable Care Act, EpiPens are practically out of reach. Poor or no prescription coverage means that people must pay for EpiPens out of pocket.
The class action lawsuit alleges that the price gouging placed EpiPen out of reach for thousands of California children and adults who need this life-saving medical device. One of the goals of the lawsuit is to stop Mylan from continuing “unfair business practices.”
More Than One Class Action Lawsuit
Currently, the Northern California class action lawsuit isn’t the only one pending against Mylan. Similar lawsuits have popped up in the nation. Mylan is also under government investigation for their business practices despite reporting a third quarter loss for 2016.
If you have questions about the class action lawsuit against Mylan regarding the EpiPen, call Goldwater Law Firm. Goldwater Law Firm protects those who were hurt because of a defective medication or medical device.