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As I See It

WI lawmakers partly to blame for increase in EpiPen price



By now, we have all heard of the marked increase in the price of EpiPens, used to administer medication to those suffering from allergic reactions. The price of the pens have increased five-fold since 2007, to the current price of $633 for a two pack. And many of us have wondered, “How could this happen?” The answer, at least in part, is that the Wisconsin Legislature is to blame. Mylan, the company which makes the EpiPen, has been a big contributor to key politicians serving on the Senate Health Committee. Records show Mylan contributed thousands of dollars in campaign cash to those key lawmakers, and spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying on bills related to the medical devices. Not surprisingly, lawmakers voted to expand the scope of users for the device to include recreational and educational camps, colleges, daycares, youth sports league and elsewhere. Its market has increased in Wisconsin, while the company profits soared, and while greedy lawmakers stuffed their pockets. Under current Wisconsin law, Mylan has the unlimited ability to sell its potentially life-saving medicine at grossly inflated prices. That’s why some lawmakers are crafting legislation which would force Mylan to justify the price of its medication. Our lawmakers should be working to protect Wisconsin families, rather than the big drug corporations.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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