Medicine and insurance companies don’t mix well. When it seems that big insurance companies value “Profit over lives”. One of the most recent examples of this is the cost of the Epinephrine auto-injector devices. These devices are most commonly known by the brand name EpiPen, which is owned by a Mylan.
Within four years the price of EpiPens has increased by 500%. This led to a social media outcry of rage, disgust, and call for change.
In 2007, a pack of EpiPens cost less than $100 by 2016 EpiPens cost ~$600 for a 2 pack. $600 for something that can be made for a few dollars. Something that people need to be safe – to stay alive. People who need EpiPens don’t need them for sport or because they enjoy stabbing themselves. If needing an Epinephrine auto-injector device isn’t enough; people need multiple pens and then on top of that the medicine only is effective for a year.
The amount of discussion that has been prompted by the drastic increase in price of EpiPens has gotten the attention of adults, parents, social media, Congress, and other pharmaceutical companies.
Bellini Kantayya is a mother from Brooklyn, New York who created a petition under the title “Stop the EpiPen Price Gouging”. She went to social media for support and within days found herself with a petition that had 80,000 signatures and more than 121,000 letters to Congress.
Proof that taking to social media about something important can lead to change. People do have the power to cause change with the help of the Internet, to reach masses in seconds is a powerful tool that has changed the makeup of rhetorical ecology from even 5 years ago.