FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --It's a lifesaving drug Dr. William Ebbeling prescribes to hundreds of patients and now he's afraid the cost of the EpiPen will leave those with bug and especially food allergies even more vulnerable.
"The likelihood of them having an accidental exposure in the next 10 years is close to 100-percent."
Since Mylan purchased EpiPen in 2007, the price of a 2-pack rose, which at one time cost less than $100, by more than 400-percent. The CEO said the increase is due to the rising cost of healthcare.
"The system is broken, the system incentives higher prices," said Heather Bresch, Mylan Chief Executive.
After facing severe backlash the company announced Thursday it would double its patient assistance program and provide coupons covering up to $300 of your co-pay. But the savings card only helps insured patients and those uninsured and on Medicare will most likely have to pay the full price which is over $600.
"People know how to use them, there has been good training. They save lives left and right, and to have people not be able to have them would be terrible," said Dr. Ebbeling.
There is an alternative epinephrine auto-injector, but many allergists don't feel comfortable prescribing it because of a historic defect rate.
"If that system fails, you've got medicine in a thing that's not giving it to you and that's useless," said Dr. Ebbeling.
What makes the price tag harder to swallow is the fact the drug isn't a one time purchase. Parents often buy several packs to keep at home and at school. The drug also expires after 20 months and doctors said, unfortunately, the pricey replacements will become necessary.