Pricey Pens are the problem

Epi-Pen price hike is concerning to its users at Bellwood-Antis


Kaelynn Behrens

Epi-Pen prices have drastically increased over the past 2 years.

Kaelynn Behrens , Staff Writer

At Bellwood-Antis, Epi-Pens are available at all three buildings for students with serious allergies. Recently the cost of an Epi-Pen has increased dramatically in the U.S.

An epi-pen is an injection containing epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. This device can reverse low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Mrs. Kelly Hoover, the B-A High School nurse,  said the district paid $560 for each two-pack of pens and they still need to be renewed every year.

She found the increase upsetting.

“This is something that the kids need,” said Mrs. Hoover.


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In the United States, one pen costs $300 as opposed to Canada where one pen costs $100. However, most Epi-Pen packs come in two’s; meaning one pack costs $600 in the U.S. 55% of Americans have been tested positive and are living with some sort of allergic condition. Most people with an allergic condition need an epi-pen to live.

In Pennsylvania, there is a law that schools must provide access to Epi-Pens for students with allergies.

Industrial arts teacher Mr. James Mackereth has a son, Matthew, who has severe food allergies, and his family needs an epi-pen at home and epi-pens at school. He was disturbed by the price increase.

“I am so confused. Did the ingredients become more expensive? Did something happen after 12 years? Is there an explanation to why they increased in price? All of a sudden, since schools need them now, the price does up. They’re selling more than ever,” said Mr. Mackereth.

Matthew, a ninth grader, said that the price increase is just “outrageous.”

“The price is just ridiculous for a lifesaving medicine,” said Matthew Mackereth.


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Alex Schmoke, a tenth grader at BAHS who suffers allergies, also thinks that the increase in prices is “unjust.”

“But what makes this even worse is certain health insurances found a way to exculde the epi-pen, so people would have to pay these unbearable prices,” said Alex Schmoke

A dose of epinephrine, the drug found in an Epi-Pen, costs as much as a Big Mac, costing anywhere between $3-$7. Why are these pens so expensive? Mylan, the main manufacturer of Epi-Pens, drastically increased the prices of the pens over that last few years. This occurred around the same time when their leading competitor, Auvi Q, was recalled.

For all of those living with an allergic condition, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel! A man named Mark Baum has been working under the radar to find a cheaper way to produce epi-pens. He works under the company Imprimis Pharmaceuticals and has been trying the launch a generic pen for less than $100.