EpiPen Rage

Most of you might follow me because of my gluten-free recipes, or because you watch Tastemade on snapchat, or because you’re just trying to eat healthier.  But the reason why I even started documenting my cooking was because I’m someone with very deadly food allergies and I wanted to show you ways to make recipes nut-free and dairy-free.  I actually discovered my gluten intolerance developing the recipes for the first Bubble Child cook book!

You see, I have a really bad nut allergy — one that almost took my life when I was 10 after eating a Brazil Nut.  Since I had to read the ingredients lists of everything I ate starting at a very young age, it certainly spawned a desire to make everything from scratch, which I think is one of the strong points of the recipes I share with you, but it isn’t something that is always light.  It can be very difficult and very heavy when it’s not just a “diet” that makes you avoid food — it’s a question of life and death.

1epipenI am a bit outraged right now and it’s related to the cost of Epi-Pens.  The Epi-Pen is the life-saving device that injects epinephrine into my bloodstream if I were to eat a trace of nut and started having an allergic reaction.  This would give me the 15 minutes I would need to get the hospital before it was too late.  Epi-Pens are not a luxury good for people with food allergies (or any allergy), they’re a necessity.

For instance, let’s say someone at a restaurant had handled Brazil Nuts before plating, say, a gluten-free sandwich for me and some of that just happened to get inside my sandwich and I didn’t notice it before taking a bite.  That allergy is so bad for me that it is literally just the Epi-Pen that would give me the (only) 15 minutes to get to the hospital before my body stopped functioning.  It’s really really important for me to have on hand.

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So, here is why I am furious: to refill just one Epi-Pen in the United States is about $630 out of pocket.  For one.  And you’re recommended to own at least two.  This price has increased 5-fold since 2010.

…and it costs, oh, $2 for the company to who makes them, Mylan, to produce.

epipen-prices

I mean, this isn’t even creative exploitation of consumer needs.  It’s so heavy handed, it’s not even funny.

Need them to survive.  Can’t really not buy them, but it’s not like everyone needs them, so let’s make this the product we increase 6 fold.

Thanks.

I have health insurance, but since I am in good health, and work freelance, I chose one with a high deductible. The one thing I need to get is vehicle insurance from insurance4motortradeSince of course they expire every year, annually I have to pay at least $630 for something that is not a luxury item, not a vanity product, a vital part of my equipment for me to leave the house.  As normal for me to have on my person in public as shoes.  And it costs them $2.

This is a scandal and completely morally defunct.

In France, it cost me 80 euros out of pocket at a pharmacy, and was already viewed as expensive, which is different for what I was used to in the States, where everything was cheaper according to my friend who was studying pharmacy at the pharmacy technician school san jose ca.  Again, here it’s $630.  Huh?

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I tend to keep my political/social/economic qualms to myself, I try to lighten a rather dark media by sharing yummy food recipes and inspirations, but this is not OK and I will not stay silent.

What’s more, in order to avoid all of the protests (normal) from the public Mylan is now trying to skirt the costs to the government.  They want the federal government to include it in the “federal list of preventative medical services”, which means that basically they would still make the same profit but pawn it off to, yep, taxpayer’s money and put it on this list of something covered by the government.*  Same money for Mylan, more money for ALL of us, not just the people with the allergies even!

mylan-headquartersI FOUND 2 PETITIONS.  I SIGNED BOTH:
http://www.change.org/p/heather-bresch-call-on-mylan-pharmaceuticals-to-reduce-price-of-life-saving-epipen
http://www.petition2congress.com/20720/stop-epipen-price-gouging/

There are petitions you can sign if you find this as abhorrent as I do.  I know that many of you do have children with food allergies who read Bubble Child, or you have them yourself.  I know you’ll understand and are already dealing with this pain.  If you don’t, I’m sure you can realize how much insult to injury this adds for those of us living with deadly food allergies, so please sign the petition, pass this message along, and let’s stop, really, compromising human lives for others greed.  It’s serving no one.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/16/business/epipen-maker-mylan-preventative-drug-campaign.html?emc=edit_th_20160916&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=60024105

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