Mrs. Clinton Tweeted out her displeasure about the price of this medical device. Here’s my take.

The EpiPen device has the high price, not the medication. Epinephrine has been around for more than 100 years and is easy to produce.

The FDA has a complicated and ambiguous process for approval of the EpiPen, and that is is inhibiting competition. Sanofi withdrew an EpiPen after 26 cases in which it delivered an inaccurate dose. In February the FDA rejected Teva’s generic EpiPen application. In June the FDA required Adamis to expand trials and reliability studies for *another* firm’s auto-injector.

The price of a product or service carries valuable information about the security.

In this case the higher price for EpiPen carries information about the relative scarcity of it. In general, high prices draws in producers but in this case the producers of other EpiPens such as Sanofi and Teva are unable to enter the market because of the FDA’s approval process.

It isn’t something nefarious by Mylan’s employees but the absence of competition that is not spurring them to change anything.

If Mrs Clinton, wanted to help she should start a program with the Clinton Foundation to buy EpiPens from Mylan and distribute them. And as President, she could commit to streamline the approval process at the FDA. She’d be a hero to many families and reform a government agency. But so far, her campaign took the nasty, authoritarian, exploitative role.

 

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