My Open Letter to Mylan:
As many of you have seen in the news, there has been an unreasonable price increase in life saving Epi-pens, the FIRST line mediation for an anaphylactic reaction. Please read and feel free to share.
When my son was 1 year old, we very quickly discovered that he had an allergy. We had suspected it from much earlier in his life. Within days, we went from trying first foods to getting a prescription for an Epi-Pen auto injector. We learned quickly that nothing is safe until well-vetted and carefully chosen, because this was his life we were dealing with. While it was mildly traumatic, my husband and I were grateful for your product. Epi-pens save lives. It works. It gives you time to get to a hospital to receive the care necessary to support someone though an anaphylactic reaction and keep them alive. Knowing this, I was so very grateful to you and your product.
Now we are almost 9 years further down the allergy road. While it isn’t one I would wish on any parent, it is one filled with learning much about food, my child’s resilience, and the need for more education and awareness. All these things have led me to become active in allergy advocacy. As a family, we have started an international campaign to raise awareness. My 9-year-old and I have lobbied at the national level. I have worked with many allergy organizations on different projects, and I have met countless families who, like us, DEPEND on not only a keen understanding of what is in our food, but on your product as well.
This leads me to my point—you are gambling with people’s lives with the utterly absurd pricing of your product. You are holding us and other families hostage because of the almighty dollar. I am very aware of what you have done in the last several years to “further” your product and I do not fault you for what you are trying to do. The awareness from your commercial, the lobbying to get Epi-pens stocked in schools, the celebrity endorsements: I know there is a bottom line to your business. You talk about your discount card, which is great for those with a reasonable insurance deductible. Then you mention your patient assistance programs, which have many reasons to disqualify a person from being eligible. Our reality, the reality of a family for whom one bite can mean the difference between life and death (with your product being the biggest deciding factor in the outcome), is that many are being forced to make a decision to not use your product, because it is no longer affordable. If you feel like those commercials and endorsements are worth the lives you are putting in danger, there is nothing I will ever be able to say to get through to you. You can make money on your product, and if you are a company with any ethical standards, you can do so without raising the prices an unreasonable 400% in 7 years.
I would ask how you sleep at night, but from how you are dealing with this issue, I would venture to guess it’s very well, in a very nice house, in a very comfortable bed with very expensive sheets. Perhaps you should count people who can’t carry your product to get to sleep at night. Maybe then you will see the impact your decision is having on people.
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A photo posted by TurnItTeal (@turnitteal) on
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My husband snapped this picture of the Empire State Building tonight lit up in teal for #FoodAllergyAwareness Week. Here's to spreading awareness, understanding, and compassion for those with a #foodallergy. #TurnItTeal
A photo posted by Gluten-Free & Nut-Free Living! (@theallergyfreewife) on
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. – Angela Schwindt . 05.09.16 Twilight at The Reservoir, Central Park, New York City. . Last night the Empire State Building was lit in teal to honor #FoodAllergyAwareness Week . #artofvisuals #beautifuldestinations #cbviews #citypicz #everyday_shooter #Freedomthinkers #fantastic_shotzs #gottolove_this #globalcapture #igersusa #ig_great_shots #ig_myshot #inspiring_photography_admired #igpowerclub #igworldglobal #igworldclub #ig_sharepoint #ig_unitedstates #mycity_life #phototag_it #splendid_shotz #usaprimeshot #waycoolshots #weekly_feature .
A photo posted by Gigi A (@gigi.nyc) on
The Empire State Building is lit up with teal in support of FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS. What a beautiful sight. Photo credit: Emily Wang. @emtrem9210 #TurnItTeal #empirestatebuilding #foodallergies #foodallergyfriendly #foodallergyawareness #health #cityskyline #skyline #lightswillguideyouhome #lights #awareness
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A photo posted by Collin Castañeda (@collincastaneda) on
When you're an Allergy Mom, and the Duke Energy Center in your home town of Charlotte, NC is illuminated in teal for #foodallergyawareness, you drive into the city at 9:00 on a school night to see it! Thank you @turnitteal for making this happen and spreading awareness here in Charlotte! #turnitteal #foodallergyweek #kidswithfoodallergies #allergymomdepot #allergymom #allergymoms #FAAW2016 #foodallergyawarenessweek @foodallergy #reactwithrespect #tealtakeover #teallove
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A photo posted by Perfectly Free (@wikifoodsinc) on
Day 2 of the Nature Photo Challenge: Niagara Falls turned teal for Food Allergy Awareness Week 👌 today I nominate @galnegunnar2 to post a nature photo for 7 days. More pretty Gotland photos coming my way! 😉 #turnitteal #foodallergies #niagarafalls #ontario #naturechallenge #waterfall #teal #canada #allergyawareness
A photo posted by Danielle (@danibarryy) on
Make A Wish Castle- New Jersey
The Mississauga Clock Tower-Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative
#torontosign #torontocityhall #cityhall #toronto #canada #ontario #firsttimeincanada #city #cityphotography #photos #photography #travels #places #happiness #life #tourist #snaps #ohcanada #streets #streetphotography #night #water
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Another addition from Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative
Thanks to the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative for helping to Turn It Teal up north!
Montreal City Hall May 15 2016 by www.ByeByeAllergies.ca