When outrage over the skyrocketing price increases of Mylan Labs’ EpiPen reached fever pitch last week, Mylan executives promised to offer coupons and discounts to qualified candidates. That didn’t quell public outrage and for good reason. Now Reuters is reporting that Mylan will offer a generic version of the ubiquitous product for half the price-$300. That isn’t good enough either.
When you realize that the EpiPen could be purchased for approximately $100 in 2008, you know something is dreadfully wrong. This is price gouging at its worst-preying on those who need the drug most and can’t afford the high price of the drug. Come to think of it, who can afford a drug that costs $300?
This is not a drug that few people need. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the EpiPen to save their lives and yet Mylan Labs is more concerned with their profit margin than helping ordinary Americans.
The focus right now is on Mylan Labs and their EpiPen but many other drug manufacturers are just as guilty and just as greedy as Mylan Labs. Every day, senior citizens have to make a choice between purchasing prescription medication and eating. And it’s not just senior citizens. Middle class America is facing the same dilemma. Corporate greed has run rampant and its high time for Congress to act and punish these greedy practices.
There was a time not long ago when most companies understood their role in civil society. They paid their workers a living wage, offered quality products to consumers, and recognized their duty to act as good, corporate citizens. That time has passed. If drug companies can’t be trusted to act responsibly in the public interest, the federal government has to step in and ensure they are punished for their bad behavior. After all, in a democratic society, that’s what government is supposed to do.