Severe allergic reactions to various allergens such as peanuts, bee stings and soy are on the rise. It is a life threatening health risk known as anaphylaxis and one in thirteen children are at risk. In the past, people would die if they could not get to a hospital in sufficient time. That all changed in 1987 when a life saving invention called the EpiPen was introduced to the general public.
The EpiPen was invented by Sheldon Kaplan for the U.S. Department of Defense in 1973. Originally it was created to quickly inject an antidote for nerve gas. Eventually, the invention arrived in the public’s hands as the life-saving self-injectable dose of epinephrine.
This medical miracle slows down the allergic reaction and provides the critical time needed to save the child’s life. Children with severe allergies are required to keep an EpiPen with them at all times and some are even required to leave one with the school nurse. Teachers in public schools receive mandatory training on when and how to use an EpiPen. For children with these severe allergic reactions, an EpiPen is a life saving necessity.
In 2007, Mylan Pharmeceutical purchased the patent for the EpiPen. Soon after they began to rapidly raise the price of this life saving medical tool. In fact, between 2007 and 2015 there was a 500% price increase. Parents that used to pay less than $150.00 dollars for two EpiPens are now required to pay over $600.00 dollars for the same medicine. During the same time as these price hikes, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch salary went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068. That is a 671% increase in her salary.
- an act or instance of extorting.
- Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.
- oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price or interest: the extortions of usurers.
Ezekiel 22:12-14 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD. Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it.
The Most High punished the Children of Israel for dealing in usury, greed, extortion and dishonest gain. Every element of what Mylan Pharmaceuticals has done amounts to these sins. They increased the price of the drug by an exorbitant amount, the CEO greedily gained a huge salary increase at the risk of children’s lives and parents were forced to pay the bill if they want to prevent a tragedy.
Leviticus 19:35-36 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The Most High warns us in the scriptures to deal justly with weights and measures which equates to us dealing righteously in business. There is room to make a profit but we are not to become greedy. People’s love for money is why these things occur in the world. When your wealth becomes more important than anything, you will risk children’s lives to gain more and more money. There is a judgment for extortioners and covetous people but if they repent, there is hope.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.