Could an EpiPen price boost happen in New Zealand?

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Source:

Seven Sharp

Sarah Jessica Parker has joined the growing number of people accusing pharmaceutical company Mylan of price gouging after raising the price of it's EpiPen insulin delivery device.

Pharmaceutical company Mylan is increasing the price of the device in the US.
Source: Seven Sharp

Experts say the adrenalin inside the pens is worth about $2, and the pen itself another $5, but the cost has skyrocketed over recent years, up 461 per cent since 2007 - up to more than $400 each for a product which can mean life or death to someone in need.

Mylan chief executive Heather Brash has also been criticised and accused of cashing in on the gouging - her salary has increase 671 per cent in that time - $23 million last year.

Ms Parker was the face of the EpiPen, but has come out and said she is "disappointed, saddened, and deeply concerned" with the company's actions.

The question remains whether the same price hikes could happen in New Zealand.

Mark Dixon, chief executive of Allergy New Zealand, says the organisation has been inundated with calls from concerned allergy sufferers.

"There is only one supplier - it's a monopoly - so no one controls the price except that manufacturer," he says.

"It's not like Australia where there's full protection ... there's full funding for two pens per year per patient."

Mylan New Zealand today said there are "no plans" to increase prices here - but it remains a nervous time for allergy sufferers.

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