EpiPen Price Increase Puts Some Patients At Risk

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Aug. 17, 2016 -- The price of potentially life-saving EpiPens has increased more than 480 percent since 2009, putting them out of reach for some patients.

An EpiPen contains epinephrine, a medicine used to treat a severe allergic reaction. In 2009, pharmacies paid just over $100 for a 2-pack of EpiPens. The price is now more than $600, according to CBS News.

That means some patients have trouble affording the device.

"If they don't have [the EpiPen], it could mean life or death," pharmacist Leon Tarasenko told CBS News.

The high cost is forcing some patients to take risks.

"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," Tarasenko said.

EpiPen is made by Mylan. The company said in a statement to CBS News that the EpiPen's price "has changed over time to better reflect important product features and the value the product provides," and that "we've made a significant investment to support the device over the past years."

The company offers coupons worth up to $100, but patients with high deductibles still have to to pay most of the cost of the device out-of-pocket, according to CBS News.

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