By Sen. Rand Paul
Paul is the junior U.S. Senator for Kentucky.
“It really is a financial hardship to afford it.”
So says a pharmacist in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ky., about the EpiPen, which can be a lifesaver for those suffering an anaphylactic allergic reaction.
I’ve seen up close and personal the life-saving effects of epinephrine: first, as a scared 5-year-old kid struggling to breathe after a bee sting and later as a physician treating airways constricted from severe allergic reactions.
For many parents, it’s quick treatment in scary situations where every second matters. For those afflicted with severe allergic reactions, it’s portable peace of mind.
Yet this relief has turned into another burden, with a pack of just two EpiPens skyrocketing to more than $600 in the United States.
To fully comprehend the outrage of this price, you must realize that the epinephrine included in the EpiPen costs less than $10 retail.
Some are pointing toward this as an example of corporate greed or the excesses of capitalism, but they’re missing the larger picture. This is an almost perfect example of crony capitalism and a government-dominated system that is failing consumers.