Canadians using the life-saving tool won’t be subjected to price hikes in the U.S.
By Bigoa Machar, Publishing Editor
After public outcry from our neighbours to the south about the ridiculous new prices for EpiPens, the head of Food Allergy Canada wants to reassure Canadians that they are safe from the surge and will continue to pay their regular rate on the device.
“The regulatory pricing system here is different than in the U.S., and so we have not seen huge increases for the device year over year,” Laurie Harada, the organization’s executive director, said of the EpiPen.
Last month, Mylan, the pharmaceutical company that sells EpiPens, increased the price by more than 500 per cent, jumping from $94 to $600.
In Canada, the price of an EpiPen sits at around $120, depending on where you look. Those who hold EpiPens use them to combat Anaphylaxis attacks, a severe reaction to a substance that attacks the body, whether it’s peanuts, fish or bee stings.
“The most severe response is when somebody’s airways are swelling and they’re closing,” said Harada. “They’re going to lose the ability to breathe or their blood pressure is dropping.”
Harada goes on to say that the timing for the increase in price could not have come ay a worse time.
“We see peak seasons, often back-to-school, because the awareness is up there and also a lot of the schools in Canada have policies in place where if a family has identified their child as being at risk for anaphylaxis … a lot of the schools are asking that the kids carry an auto-injector with them,” said Harada.
Typically, EpiPens are used to provide a temporary halt to anaphylaxis while waiting for medical assistance. With just over 7 per cent of Canadians suffering from serious allergies that cause anaphylaxis, hopefully we can rely on the EpiPen for years to come.