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A life-saving drug sky-rockets in price

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News video: A life-saving drug sky-rockets in priceKSPR's Matt Buhrman reports.
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A life-saving drug sky-rockets in price

Now.

A life-saving drug has skyrocketed in price... and people who need it are asking why.

It's known as the epi-pen -- and if you or a family member has an allergic reaction you may need one.

But it's not cheap -- in fact, how much it now costs is shocking many people.

Kspr's matt buhrman joins us live from grove pharmacy on east sunshine in springfield with more.

Matt?

Jerry -- this is the epipen -- once running around $50 bucks -- now on average can range between 500 to 700 dollars.

And there's no clear reason why.

For those who don't know -- if you have an immediate allergic reaction whether to a food allergy or even a bee sting, you hold the pen in this direction -- "blu to the sky and orange to the thigh" -- you pop off the blu portion and inject the pen into your thigh -- click and hold for about 10 seconds.

"a small, small dab of peanu butter."

"pictures say thousand words."

"his throat started closing u and all of that stuff."

Shado williams' son, jackson, is now five.

He started having an allergic reaction to peanuts at about 10 months old.

"it was literally less than teaspoon."

Williams, who work as a local radio dj, says when she heard about the rising cost of the pen, she was shocked.

"almost crying, being in tears basically what i did, i called the pharmacies, local and the big ones.

And you'd be surprised that pharmacies and epipens are not the same price."

"i downloaded the coupon fro the manufacturers website, and ended up spending 750 dollars on two sets, one for home and one for school."

"if you couldn't afford th epipen at all, you could actually ask for that generic and maybe that would be less expensive for you."

Dr minh-thu-le is a physician at cox medical center in springfield, and says the generic brand, could be less expensive -- depending on the store.

She says the main competitor for epipen, the auvi-q injector, was recalled last year -- leaving epipen the only game in town.

"unfortunately, th medication in it was found not to discharge properly sometimes so they had to recall it."

Dr minh-thu le says the need for an epipen hits close to her home.

"my daughter has a peanu allergy and she's been carrying an epipen for the last three years when we found out, but she's never had to use it thank goodness."

The pen can have good shelf life, she explained, a year to 18 months after the purchase, potentially longer.

"it's stil pretty white, than you can probably use it and it's still good."

Dr. minh-thu-le says th epipen is a good health investment if you have these allergies -- beating the cost of being admitted into the hospital or worse.

"having somebody yo care about dying, and then thinking to yourself was 600 dollars worth their life, and usually you will say yes."

Williams says the need for this type of medical device -- is serious.

"kids, they just don' understand.

And sometimes they take it as a joke.

It's not a joke."

Here at grove pharmacy in springfield -- these epipens run about , of course it's prescription only, you can't buy them over the counter.

One possible reason the price has gone up -- the manufacturing costs for this medical device increased -- but still no clear reason why.

Jerry?

Matt buhrman, thank you.

Congress has asked the pharmaceutical company--mylan- - to explain the rising cost.

We've just learned that mylan's chief executive has seen her salary jump 787 per cent... from 2- point-4 million dollars to 18- point-9 million...since the price of the epipen went up.

We want you to join the discussion.

We have posted this story to our kspr news facebook page.

If you have something to say about how your family deals with the cost of epi pens-- you can chime in on this story.

Again-- this is on our kspr news facebook page.



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