The Price Of This Lifesaving Allergy Medication Has Skyrocketed

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If you suffer from severe allergic reactions, you know that an EpiPen can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. But as the costs for EpiPens continue to soar, some are being forced to make a decision between going broke and risking an allergic attack.

The cost of the EpiPen has increased by more than 480% since 2009, skyrocketing to its current price of over $600, CBS News reports. The most frustrating part? The epinephrine that EpiPens are filled with only costs a few dollars. The reason for such high prices is that Mylan, the company that manufactures the EpiPen, has no competitors in its field — making it possible for it to hike up costs to capitalize on the fact that EpiPen is such a trusted name brand.

"It's a totally established brand name with little competition," medical reporter Robert Langreth told CBS. "That gives them freedom to raise the price every year."

For people who suffer from life-threatening allergies, sky-high prices mean being forced to take risks.

"If they don't have [the EpiPen], it could mean life or death," pharmacist Leon Tarasenko told CBS. "Within the last two months, we've had about three patients who had issues with the price of an EpiPen. And we actually — they did not receive it. They just refused to take it."

In a statement, Mylan told CBS that the price "has changed over time to better reflect important product features and the value the product provides," adding that the company has "made a significant investment to support the device over the past years."

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