Prescription Drugs

EpiPens and Government Cheese

Some things won't change no matter who wins the 2016 election.

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At the end of August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture bought 11 million pounds of cheese—that's a cheese cube for every man, woman, and child in America—in order to bail out the nation's feckless cheesemongers.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack touted the aid package, worth $20 million, as a win-win: "This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need." (Most of the federal government's new stockpile will go to food banks.)

This bailout of Big Cheese came on top of an $11.2 million infusion earlier in the month to dairy farmers enrolled in a 2014 federal financial aid scheme. The deal comes after months of lobbying by the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau, and the National Milk Producers Federation, who were too antsy to wait for their next big cash cow to come ambling in with the farm bill.

The same week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) wrote a letter to the pharmaceutical company Mylan, demanding an explanation for why EpiPens, the epinephrine auto-injectors that severely allergic people carry in case of an emergency, have quadrupled in price since 2007. Grassley cited constituents paying $500 to fill their prescriptions.

Hillary Clinton issued a statement about the price increases as well: "Since there is no apparent justification in this case, I am calling on Mylan to immediately reduce the price of EpiPens." Donald Trump used the occasion to score points, tweeting out a story about hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation from the disgraced company. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) echoed Clinton's sentiment in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission: Lamenting that "antitrust laws do not prohibit price gouging," she asked the regulatory body to look into whether Mylan has used "unreasonable restraints of trade" to keep prices high.

The summer's cheese bailout and EpiPen price scandal are ideological Rorschach blots.Where one observer sees only the evils of the profit motive, another looks at the same fact pattern and sees the perils of an overweening regulatory state.

Vox sided solidly with the profit shamers, declaring: "We are the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices, maximizing profits the same way sellers of chairs, mugs, shoes, or any other manufactured goods would." But pseudonymous blogger Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex responded with a tidy reverse Voxsplanation: The cronyist Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government forces have squelched nearly every effort to compete with Mylan's EpiPens, distorting the market beyond recognition via a process he chronicles in painful detail.

Mylan acquired the EpiPen from Merck in 2007, by which time the product was already 25 years old, which means the question of paying back research costs was moot. In 2009, Teva Pharmaceuticals tried to enter the market—and Mylan sued. Teva managed to get its product to the FDA anyway, only to be told that it had "certain major deficiencies," unspecified. In 2010, Sandoz Inc. tried its luck and got bogged down in the courts, where the case still dwells. In 2011, the French drug company Sanofi made a bid to gain approval for a generic, which was delayed for years because the FDA didn't like the proposed brand name. Which brings us to this year, when Adamis decided to sell plain old pre-filled epinephrine syringes directly to patients without the fancy injector. Cue an FDA recall, on the rather vague basis that insufficient study had been done on standard administration of a drug whose medical properties have been known since the turn of the last century.

And sometimes the tangled, dysfunctional relationship between big business and big government gets even more personal. The CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W. Va.), which probably makes things awkward in the Senate cafeteria. But Manchin has joined his colleagues in saying that he is "concerned about the high prices of prescription drugs," which probably makes things awkward at Thanksgiving. Then again, Mylan spends over a million dollars a year lobbying, which likely goes a long way toward smoothing things over.

In 2014 Congress passed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which Grassley mentions in his letter. The law, he writes, "provides an incentive to states to boost the stockpile of epinephrine at schools." It was co-sponsored by Klobuchar, the same senator who now wants to sic the antitrust dogs on Mylan. That law was a top lobbying priority for Mylan that year, along with new rules that reduced competition for generics.

Grassley also notes that the taxpayers are picking up the tab for kids who are getting EpiPens while on Medicaid or the state-level Children's Health Insurance Program, and he adds that some 47 states require or encourage schools and other public institutions to stock EpiPens. In other words, Congress created a huge new class of price-insensitive EpiPen customers and now wonders why the price has gone up.

Meanwhile, the prescription laws still require you to get a special piece of paper from a doctor every single time you want to buy an EpiPen. If the doctor writes a brand name on that paper, it's illegal for the pharmacist to give you a cheaper generic.

The story of the government cheese is just as convoluted. It's easy to be lulled by Vilsack's sell: Helping farmers and the hungry? Sounds great! But you know what else helps move a glut of cheese off the shelves and into the hands of poor people, without requiring taxpayer dollars? Lowering the price.

That's something the industry isn't willing to do, and—given all the pricing rules and production quotas that have been distorting dairy markets since the 1930s—mostly can't do. With Americans eating a record 34 pounds of cheese a year, the problem isn't an unexpected drop in demand.The problem is a failure to allow the laws of supply and demand to function at all.

Eleven million pounds of cheese may seem like small potatoes (to mix culinary metaphors), and it is in the larger scheme of federal spending and meddling. What's another $20 million when the debt is already $20 trillion, after all? But our typically cheerful acceptance of central control of compressed curds and injectable epinephrine shows how widespread and insidious such conditions are in our lives.

What would real free market reforms look like, and how would they come about? In this issue, you'll read what Libertarian Party nominees Gary Johnson and Bill Weld would do in the (very unlikely) event that they won the presidency and vice presidency (page 30). Reason TV's Jim Epstein reports on the millennial libertarian activists in Brazil who brought down a corrupt populist president (page 50). And in Detroit, an American city where public services are essentially nonexistent, we detail how residents are building DIY alternatives (page 65).

In the meantime, there is no reason to think either the tale of the EpiPens or the saga of the cheese would play out any differently under President Trump or President Clinton. Taxpayer-funded sops to farmers are as bipartisan as it gets, and there is precisely zero chance that a president from either major party would discontinue the practice. Likewise, the iron grip of the FDA on the drug approval process—and the opportunities to purchase influence in that powerful bureaucracy—will not diminish one iota, regardless of which major-party candidate becomes America's Big Cheese in January.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

84 responses to “EpiPens and Government Cheese

  1. I don’t know what makes the delusion that is central planning so tempting to so many people.

    Central planning is like heroin for the state, once it gets started more and more is needed to “fix” things and eventually the state ends up strung out and dying (massive debt).

    1. I don’t know what makes the delusion that is central planning so tempting to so many people.

      There’s a lot of money in it.

      1. money to be dealt out to your friends and supporters. money buys power.

    2. Who do you want running things, the People or the corporations? Government is the People, while corporations are just rich, white men. Corporations put profits before people. They will lie, cheat, steal, and kill if it means making a profit. That’s why we need the government to plan things for us. It puts people before profits. Government cares for us because it is us. Can’t let the corporations run everything. Not unless you want the country to become a wasteland filled with scattered corporate fiefdoms where everyone is a slave. Because that’s what would happen. It would be a return to the Middle Ages, only the corporations would be the lords while the rest of us would be the serfs. All reality-based people know this.

      1. One of those times where the user name perfectly fits the user’s comment…..

        1. LOL, ya my thought exactly. Sarc is both a great troll name and illumination into their idiocy.

      2. you missed a minor detail there, Sarc… corporations are people, too. What about the other pharmaceutical corporations tried to enter the market and got shut down by the bribed and subsidised FDA? Sure, those corporations have a profit motive. Why else did their investors invest but to see a return? Corporations are also the investors/shareholders who FUND them. Epipens used to cost well under fifty bux till the present corporation wrangled not only control but a government enforced monopoly. Today, as the article said, they cost above $500 So WHO is after the profit here? FDA who collect HUGE sums of money and have inside connexions to SOME drug companies, that’s who. On what substantive basis do FDA keep other players out of that market? I’ll lay high stakes at very long odds that, given approval to two or three of these other “players” to bring competing products to market, within a few months Epipens will again cost well under fifty bux. What it will take is to remove GOVERNMENT protection of the present fiefdom now granted by FDA to the ONE provider of this product.

        The problem wiht gummint control is that THEY decide which products succeed and at what price. You might recall an instance in our earlier history where a government supported and enforced monopoly on stale tea whose price was augmented by a tax imposed by the government/owner of that tea, led to a principled uprising of the population forced to endure such corruption.

        1. Could it happen again? Yes. Will it? Continue “bidniss as youzhuwall” ($500 epipens, artificially inflated and supported high prices on cheese with government subsidy) much longer and soon enough word will escape to the ears of the masses who will say ENOUGH. And the government control of the means to put some backbone behind that ENOUGH will not be sufficient to prevent the toppling of said corrupt government.

          WHY do we THE PEOPLE tolerate an annual burden of two TRILLION dollars imposed upon us by another illegal unconstitutional unaccountable government alphabet soup agency called the EPA?
          And you ask whether I’d prefer corporations who answer directly to those who fund them, or a government agency that is as far removed from any input or accountability to WE THE PEOPLE who supposedly constitute that government as Pluto is from Mercury? Are YUO the crazy one? Or just paid by that self-same government agency to spew your nonsense?

        2. JEEBUS, goober, you ain’t from around here, are you. Never seen sarc sarc, before, eh.

    3. I think people are always looking for an easy solution. Somebody comes along and promises to solve your problems AND make someone else pay the bill, that’s pretty appealing if you don’t think too hard.

    4. Central planning – getting everybody to agree on one thing – is the way lots of things are done and it seems to work okay. For a small group that’s pre-disposed to going along with the majority decision. What are we having for dinner tonight? Where are we holding the company picnic? Who are we inviting to be the guest speaker at the club luncheon? Where will we build the new school? You’re better off having one single decision rather than having mom cook 4 different meals, booking 3 different parks, paying for 6 hours worth of speakers, building more schools than you can afford. But central planning is only more efficient and better when having more options leads to worse outcomes for everybody. If mom’s cooking spaghetti and I decide to walk up the street to McDonald’s, if I ditch the company picnic to go bowling, if I read a book rather than listen to the speaker, if I home-school my kids, how is that hurting anybody else? There’s only a limited number of things where everybody pulling in the same direction makes everybody better off and everything else is not a proper role for government. Make all the plans you want, but leave me the hell alone if I don’t want to get involved in your plans.

      1. Even your small group examples only work because everyone knows they have the option of withdrawing from the group decision, so everybody works for consensus. Top down control has no such withdrawal option, and the Top.Man has no interest in a decision that accommodates everybody to any extent.

  2. “We are the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices, maximizing profits the same way sellers of chairs, mugs, shoes, or any other manufactured goods would.”

    Chairs, mugs, shoes and any other manufactured good can be re-imported for personal use or sale when they are cheaper abroad.

    Actually, I should qualify that “any other manufactured good” because who knows these days. It’s not as if this is a free country.

    1. Any time you see a sentence that begins with “We are the only developed nation that…” you can be sure that a whole steaming pile of derp is to follow.

      1. Can we create an auto-Twitter account for that?

    2. not accurate or true. We are the only developed nation that systematically restricts the marketplace for the products of drugmakers. Right from the “regulating” of most drugs as “controlled substances”. Case in point: I lived in Canada some years ago, was advised by a doctor friend of mine to go to the local drugstore and buy an over the counter antihistamine he recommended me. It not only worked it had NO side effects. Moved back to the States, not OTC here. Next trip to Canada I bought four or five boxes…. each box was about CDN$4 for 30 caps. A whole year’s worth for CDN$12. Needed some later and could not get back to Canada to buy them. Paid a doc $50 (it would be $150 now) to scribble on a piece of paper, which I then took to Costco.. SAME pill, same manufacturer, dose, etc, now cost me $40 for 12 caps. Total cost for that dozen pills grew from

      1. grew from

      2. And yet everything you said after “not accurate and true” just made my point.

        Keep talking.

  3. At the risk of being the type of guy who’d bitch about being hung with a new rope, I wish Reason would write more stuff like this rather than clickbait fluff pieces about the Twitter outrage du jour. I miss when there was commentary about actual policy.

    1. I don’t disagree, but I think a lot of it is just them responding to their customers. How many comments do articles like this get compared to articles about Trump’s latest crazy statement or Robby’s articles about the latest instance of SJWs doing something stupid on college campuses?

    1. “Because it is now legal in certain quantities, people nowadays believe they can exceed those quantities and there’d be no prosecution, that it’s not criminal,” he said. “We used to see 15 to 20 plants at a time being seized at a small grow, now we’ll see it in the hundreds, even thousands at warehouses.”

      I saw a reality show on Canadian tv last night, where Canadian customs officers are having a grand old time arresting dim-witted Americans who try to cross the border with their legal weed.

      One woman was shocked when the handcuffs went on.

      I remember when weed became legal here, how few people understood the restrictions or regulations that were in plain english, right in the law.

      1. Hey we arrest people who try and enter OUR country just for admitting to using cannabis so there!

      2. Reminds me of when dipsheets were wondering why the Russians weren’t exercising their rights to free speech. “ugh, isn’t everybody a left-tard free-country, independent judicial system person and country?” Just one indicator fo the failure of education in the US, ou guys know many others ima sure

    2. Anecdotal but an example. When I was a kid, the local detective (who lived across the street) asked my father if he wanted to see how they worked a rock concert at the Hampton Coliseum (I believe it was an early Van Halen tour). He tagged along for funsies.

      Basically the cops shook down the concertgoers for weed and booze, then took the spoils to a poker game after the concert and consumed as much as they wanted and turned the rest in as evidence.

      1. Yep – – same thing used to happen in the early 90s at Dead concerts at RFK, only the undercover cops were watching the second set in the upper deck consuming part of what they confiscated in the first set.

  4. What does Epi’s penis have to do with anything?

    1. Fear. Fear and Loathing. Fear, Loathing and Dismay.

      1. Is Epi Spanish, by any chance?

  5. The EpiPen debacle has most of my Democrat and Progressive friends decrying capitalism all over their Derpbook pages, and it was surprisingly difficult to find information about the issue that wasn’t ‘Capitalism bad, Mmkay’. Then I discovered that the FDA has been essentially blocking any newcomer in the market of a drug that costs way less than a dollar per unit to produce but also saves lives.

    So ultimately, yeah, this company has been insulated by Congress from any competition whatsoever and now we’re told that it’s the evil’s of the free market that caused this problem? Color me shocked that a government enforced monopoly is ultimately behind all of this. Obviously the company is at fault for rent seeking in the first place, but the vast majority of consumers will receive a massive price reduction through their insurance (while everyone is mandated to have insurance, which makes me question who’s paying out of pocket since clearly they need to be audited by the IRS).

    If this company hadn’t sought to suppress competition through the Federal government, perhaps they wouldn’t be under investigation but for me the takeaway lesson is the FedGov shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the first place. I thought that already, but this is an instructive case to explain it to others.

    1. while everyone is mandated to have insurance, which makes me question who’s paying out of pocket since clearly they need to be audited by the IRS

      The new insurance model is to pay premiums that cost just as much as the old insurance that actually paid for stuff, but now you have a several thousand dollar deductible. So people with insurance are paying many thousands out of pocket before the insurance actually kicks in.

      1. premiums that cost just as much as the old insurance

        Ha! If only. The premiums are way up, the deductibles are way up, coinsurance is common even on PPO plans, HMO plans don’t even necessarily cover 100% of emergency treatment anymore, and copays have gone from trivial or manageable to “what is the difference between my copay and self payment, exactly?”

        1. Between insurance premiums, and putting enough into the HSA to cover my deductible, I’m paying literally twice what I did before Obamacare.

          1. Yes, this isn’t in dispute by me really. Although in theory after you have enough in your HSA to cover your entire deductible you can reduce the amount you funnel into it based on your projected yearly usage. I would bet, although can’t say for sure, that you would still be paying significantly more than what you paid before. The risk pool is fucked, and the only prescription for that is across-the-board rate hikes. (Which is obviously what we’ve been seeing nation wide in aggregate.)

      2. If you have allergies that are serious enough to carry around an EpiPen, I would be shocked if you didn’t meet your deductible every year regardless. I definitely agree with you, but it seems to me that a deductible of over $5,000 is fairly uncommon. I’m less informed on prescription coverage since I’ve never worked for a pharmacy, but I’ve worked at plenty of hospitals and clinics including an Allergist but that was several years ago and the market can change faster than one might expect.

        1. but it seems to me that a deductible of over $5,000 is fairly uncommon.

          At my work we have three choices for plans. They have $3K, $5K, and $8K deductibles.

          1. I should have been clearer and said ‘most people would not choose a plan with over a $5,000 deductible’. My fault. The obvious exception is an individual who expects to use close to zero healthcare in that year, as a high deductible plan is often times cheaper on the premium side.

        2. Generally, the Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans are identical except for varying premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. It’s relatively easy to calculate that for a given decrease in deductible there is an equal rise in the premiums. Therefore, the Bronze plans make the most financial sense from a risk perspective.

          That said, my deductible is $13K for the family, which I don’t mind. I do mind paying $15K a year in premiums though.

          1. Yes, and if you’re a family of 3 that comes out to $5,000 a year in a deductible per person. I completely agree with your point as well. If you can afford it in the short term a high deductible plan is the best option for catastrophic care IMO as you can invest what you would otherwise spend in premiums which is a more efficient use of income.

      3. which is why I opted out. Its a numbers game, and my own financial security is the driving factor. One year’s premiums on OhBummerTax are about four times what I’ve paid out of pocket for ALL my medical care for four decades. Then the deductible is, again, more than ALL my out of pocket medical costs for those four decades. Limited income means I either pay the premium, hope I don’t get sick and have to pay the doc, or eat and sleep inside. A no-brains-required decision

    2. It’s ludicrous to bring an anti-trust suit against a company who has a government enforced monopoly, so I highly doubt that’s going to happen. I wouldn’t be at all shocked if the ‘solution’ is to set a price cap on EpiPen while leaving in place the regulations that keep only one seller in the market.

      It would be even better if Mylan dropped out of the market at that point and left zero producers in the market, but I already know they won’t do that. It would be passing up free money, which isn’t something a business (or individual) is going to do.

      1. It’s ludicrous to bring an anti-trust suit against a company who has a government enforced monopoly

        Ludicrous it may be, but it’s definitely happened. “Ma Bell” AT&T was broken up in the 1980s for violation of antitrust law, even though it only had a monopoly in the first place because of government policies.

        1. Yeah, I remember. My Grandmother worked for them at the time. That was in the 1980’s though, the last antitrust suit I can remember was Microsoft. We’ll see if the government has the balls to go after trusts these days, but my gut reaction is abundant laughter.

        2. and AT&T provided a reliable excellent low cost product. Now, after the breakup, my landline phone costs many times what it did in relative dollars back then. And service was SO rotten I finally cancelled all together. I’m STILL fighting the phone company for a hundred dollars in made-up “hit him on the backside on the way out” phoney charges added onto my last bill.

          AT&T never did that.

          1. and AT&T provided a reliable excellent low cost product.

            What planet did you live on? My current landline is less than $27/mo despite all the increased “access” and “broadband” taxes, and “long-distance” is much cheaper than ever in my 50 yrs.

            Hint: $27 today is less than $5 in 1973… I can guarantee that phone service was more than $5/mo in 1973. And the service was so fucking excellent back then that Lily Tomlin got famous for playing Ernestine on “Laugh-In”.

      2. And the government mandated price cap will be an order of magnitude larger than what the price would be if free and open competition were allowed.

        1. Probably, with all the media attention on this case I’m not sure what they’re going to do. The market price of an EpiPen should be around $40-$50 (more or less the European cost with I think 7-9 producers of the product) just because of insurance distortions. If it was self-pay only I could see the price at around $15-$20 based on the production cost. This entire market is completely fucked by both a rent seeking corporation and the government that enabled it.

    3. Apparently it’s not the epinephrine, which is cheap as shit and manufactured by a bunch of people, it’s the delivery system, i.e. the “pen” itself. There’s a cheaper system called Adrenaclick that you can substitute, but in some states you have to get a specific prescription and since most doctors have been pumped hard by sales reps to prescribe Epipen they might not even know there’s an alternative much less be willing to prescribe it. However, not all states forbid pharmacists from giving you the generic alternative.

      So, yes, Mylan is taking advantage of bad policy to make money hand over fist, but there are legal alternatives to paying out the nose for Epipens if you hunt around.

  6. surprisingly difficult to find information about the issue that wasn’t ‘Capitalism bad, Mmkay’.

    The amoral monstrousness of capitalism cannot be overstated.

    1. then WHO will put up the funds to develop and produce things the market demands? If no one wants a thing, no one will buy it. If many want a thing, there will be enough demand for new producers (funded by private capital.. money..) to step up and put THEIR offerings into the marketplace. Multiple producers brings competition, never a bad thing… until gummint come along and decide who shall be the ONLY purveyor of the product.

      ths nation was built up by private capital, invested by wise people, to provide goods/services that were needed. Remember, it was government agencies deciding which railroads got the “right” to operate here and there, but not in that place, and deeded vast tracts of land to them as bribes to build. THAT was the dawn of government manipulating markets. Then, with gummint protections, many of those railroads were able to charge outrageous fees for their service, knowing the alternative was the back of a mule or perhaps a wagon and team.

  7. Why can’t you just let the price of cheese fall so people can enjoy more while the less efficient providers find other lines of business?

    Why do you hate people?

    1. Why not sell cheese with epinephrine capsules inside? Double up on the nutrition. Combine two government programs into one and increase the efficiency of the total effort. Oh no < a la BayMax. Then we'd get cheese at 300$/lb because it is not cheese it is a delivery system.

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  9. I understand the part about having only one maker who then gets to set the price

    But is there any problem with lawsuits driving up prices for this since I am betting that a self injecting drug would be a target for the lawyers anytime anything went wrong even if the pen is not at fault? The maker would be the big pockets that the lawyers could go after.

    1. Yeah, you have to price so you can pay claims, sure.

      Zero evidence, as far as I know, that the liability exposure for EpiPens has increased at anything like the increase in price.

      1. I can guarantee that the risk hasn’t gone up by, what, 300-500 percent. If it had, you would see a recall for sure. It’s absolutely a market capture problem.

  10. OT: is Assange dumping more documents today or has Clinton airstriked his ass?

  11. Libertarians want to cut The Big Cheese.

    1. You seem to go out of your whey to be disgusting

      1. Curd it out with the puns already.

      2. I was embarrassed by that one.

        1. The one who smelt it dealt it.

  12. OT: I’m not sure why the Democrats allow Joe to talk
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/l…..e-n2227785

    “As I pointed out, it was embarrassing that Bernie Sanders’ net worth is more than mine,” Biden said. “I have less money than a socialist. I don’t know what the hell happened to me.”

    1. That’s hilarious.

      1. It actually is, although of course the powerful socialists historically tend to make out like bandits. Well, not “like”.

  13. Epi-Pen provides vouchers for 3 fills/year with $0 co-pay for most major insurances. I believe its only those on government insurance plans that have to pay out of pocket.
    They also offer assistance with cost, although I don’t know the specifics.

    I’ve never paid a dollar for Epi-Pens….they are always covered and I have a run-of-the-mill employer provided prescription plan.

    I strongly suspect that this whole fiasco has little to do with the cost of Epi-Pens, but rather a government shakedown of a company that somehow got on the wrong side of a person in power. I wonder if its tied into the collapsing farce that is Obamacare

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  15. “We are the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices, maximizing profits the same way sellers of chairs, mugs, shoes, or any other manufactured goods would.”

    That might be a good analogy if there were some highly restrictive gatekeeper who gives a monopoly to one company to make chairs, mugs, or shoes and also makes it extremely expensive and difficult to enter those markets. IF ONLY drugs were sold like chairs, mugs, or shoes.

  16. When I took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in the early 1980s they would bring in a platter of government cheese between exams during the snack break. I love cheese in all of it’s various forms, but this stuff was nasty. Think Velveeta with a crumbly texture, and without the flavor.

    1. Velveeta is defined by having a gelatinous texture. So unless you’re saying they shared the same color, there’s not much overlap in traits if it had neither the texture nor the flavor of Velveeta.

      1. My mistake – meant Velveeta, except with a crumbly texture. Cheese is pretty dam important to me, so thank you for helping me correct the record.

        1. except Velveeta is NOT cheese. Read the ingredients list. FedGov (rightly, for once) made them remove the word “cheese” from the labelling.

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  20. And the public interest, which some might recall, comes in dead last, if it ever got out of the starting gate.

  21. Just make sure your doctor writes a scrip for plain epinephrine, have the pharmacist fill two regular syringes with the proper dosage and carry them around in a toothbrush holder. $20 out the door. They only last 3 months but so what.

  22. Just make sure your doctor writes a scrip for plain epinephrine, have the pharmacist fill two regular syringes with the proper dosage and carry them around in a toothbrush holder. $20 out the door. They only last 3 months but so what.

  23. Epipens aren’t needed in schools,they’re for emergency use by inexperienced laymen,for when a person has a reaction when they’re away from trained help,allowing self-administration.
    Schools have school nurses,who OUGHT to be capable of giving a simple shot with a syringe. they can easily keep a supply of syringes and bottles of epinephrine,at a far lower cost than Epipens. Plus,when Epipens expire,they have to be tossed,while only the bottle of drug has to be disposed,the syringes don’t expire.

  24. My oldest son is severely allergic to tree nuts and we get multiple EpiPens basically for free because we and the pharmacy can find coupons that will cover the cost. Not sure about those with a different insurance plan but I know we have never had to pay anywhere near $500. I have no doubt though that Mylan is still getting their $500 for his Epis and

    I do know that they cost a lot less a couple of years ago because Mylan was worried about competitors and had lowered the price. I also know that my mom used to have a plain epi syringe when I was a kid because she was allergic to bee stings. So there you have it, the FDA is gamed by Big Pharma and uses it to regulate to its advantage. Anyone who thinks that the FDA is there to look out for the common good has never had to deal directly with this kind of BS.

  25. My oldest son is severely allergic to tree nuts and we get multiple EpiPens basically for free because we and the pharmacy can find coupons that will cover the cost. Not sure about those with a different insurance plan but I know we have never had to pay anywhere near $500. I have no doubt though that Mylan is still getting their $500 for his Epis and

    I do know that they cost a lot less a couple of years ago because Mylan was worried about competitors and had lowered the price. I also know that my mom used to have a plain epi syringe when I was a kid because she was allergic to bee stings. So there you have it, the FDA is gamed by Big Pharma and uses it to regulate to its advantage. Anyone who thinks that the FDA is there to look out for the common good has never had to deal directly with this kind of BS.

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