Prescription drugs necessary for survival should be cheaper


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For asthmatics, having a generic version inhaler can costs families over $1,000 each year.

There are many Americans who depend on life-saving drugs to survive, but are unable to afford them. 

Those who rely on prescription drugs like insulin, Epipens and inhalers, cannot afford skipping doses or just not opting to use them. 

Manufacturers are racking up prices of insulin to anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for a monthly supply, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, but it only costs them around $10 to produce a single vial of insulin. 

President Joe Biden has been vocal about his views on pharmaceutical companies jacking up prices and hurting middle-class families. 

“Insulin costs about $10 a vial to make.  That’s what it costs the – the pharmaceutical company.  But drug companies charge families …  up to 30 times that amount,” Biden said in his State of the Union address.  

“It’s a medicine that can be produced for just a few dollars … but manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk mark up the price as much as 5,000%, and there are seven million Americans with diabetes that have no choice but to pay,” according to Right Care Alliance.  

Diabetics and asthmatics do not deserve to suffer or die because they cannot afford their prescriptions. People should have the right to be able to live a full and healthy life, regardless of their financial situation. 

For asthmatics, one name brand inhaler that lasts roughly 30 days, typically costs $300 to $400, while cheaper generic options are around $90, according to Health Partners. Even with the generic version,  it still costs families over $1,000 each year. 

Epipens are used to combat a variety of severe allergens, such as stings, nuts, medications and shellfish. When someone is having a severe allergic reaction where swelling occurs and airways are blocked, the Epipen injects a dose of epinephrine which causes blood vessels to relax, reduce swelling and open airways. Clearly, Epipens are a vital tool for a person with a serious allergy. 

Epipens cost up to $700 for a pack of two, but the generic version of Epipen sells for $150 to $400, according to medicinenet

Even with generic options available, these prescription medications are still costly.

No person should have to choose between paying rent and affording a drug that is vital to their survival. Government officials are not doing enough to help citizens who are struggling to afford vital medications. Instead, officials are allowing corporate companies to take advantage of middle and lower class families.