Blumenthal to unveil legislation to combat EpiPen issues
During a press conference Monday morning, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., will unveil new legislation aimed at combatting overpricing and critical shortages of EpiPens.
At 11:30 a.m. Monday, outside Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, Blumenthal will announce the plan to “combat prescription drug price gouging— cracking down on drug companies like EpiPen manufacturer Mylan who have preyed on patients with no choice but to pay skyrocketing prices for drugs needed to survive,” according to a news release.
EpiPens are devices that inject a patients with a dose of epinephrine — a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs — usually in response to an allergic reaction. The release from Blumenthal’s office states that, 10 years or so ago, “EpiPens could be purchased easily for $57, but now sell for over $700,” and that “there has been a critical shortage in supply for months, leaving many families to rely on expired supplies or search between multiple pharmacies.”
During Monday’s conference, Blumenthal will be joined by West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore, himself a father of an EpiPen user, Dr. Nicholas Bennett from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Carolyn Janis, a mother of a child with severe food allergies, and West Hartford State Representative Derek Slap. Slap will discuss recently enacted state legislation he helped to lead that will allow students with life-threatening food allergies to carry their EpiPens on school buses. The new law also requires that school bus drivers receive basic training in administering EpiPens