Opinion

Why did Mylan increase the price of an EpiPen? Because it could.

To the editor: Have you ever received a phone call from your daughter that starts with, “Mom, I can’t breathe?” I have, and it is beyond frightening. (“Another reason to hate Mylan, which jacked up the price of life-saving EpiPens: It's a tax dodger,” Aug. 23)

Due to a severe peanut allergy my daughter's life is a risk if she inadvertently ingests peanuts; she will go into anaphylactic shock and has only minutes to inject her EpiPen. She has carried an EpiPen with her constantly for the past 10 years. 

Pharmaceutical company Mylan’s decision to put this life-saving medication out of reach for many children and adults is incomprehensible. At some point, as a nation and as a society, we simply must start doing what is right. Losing a single life because Big Pharma decided to maximize its profit is disgraceful. Concerened readers can contact Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and let him know they support his investigation into Mylan's predatory pricing. 

Debra Mathias, Irvine

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To the editor: Michael Hiltzik’s column on Mylan’s profits is just another example of how the intersection of greed and capitalism result in sorrow. On top of this, Mylan avoids paying its fair share of taxes. 

Who loses? The patients and families who are dependent on a life-saving drug, the families who struggle to finance the costs, and the insurance companies that need to raise rates to cover the cost of Big Pharma’s greed. Is it any wonder that this will lead to cries for greater regulation of all pharmaceuticals? 

Will we eventually have the federal government running our medical and drug companies because of the few firms that raise prices just because they can? 

Juan Matute, Claremont

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To the editor: The price of the EpiPen and other generics will not decrease with more rules, regulations and congressional investigations. 

Current foot dragging by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulations already limit new competition and increase the prices of generics. Corporate tax increases will increase manufacturing costs that are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Also, studies have shown that drugs remain effective way beyond their current expiration dates. 

Market pricing is not perfect, but central price controls and rationing created shortages for gasoline during the oil crisis in the United States in the 1970s and in the failed Eastern European communist economies for all goods and services.

Thomas Einstein, MD, Santa Monica 

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