A Reasonable Price for Peace of Mind

Imagine this:

You carry $500 dollars in cash on you, at all times. You can’t use this money to pay for dinner with your partner. You can’t use it if you’re short on bus fare. In fact, having this $500 in cash is only good for one thing.

You carry it just in case you get mugged.

That’s right. If you’re walking along some night and someone jumps out of the bushes in front of you, puts a gun to your head, and says, “Give me five hundred dollars right now, or you’re going to die,” you’d want to be able to do that. Of course, you do whatever you can to avoid being mugged but some things are inevitable. It’s got to happen to someone, after all, so you keep cash on you, not spending it on anything else, just in case.

Now let me add one more layer to this. The $500 you’re carrying has an expiration date. After a year, you need to throw away that McKinley and get a brand new one, hoping that you never need to actually use it.

Sounds kind of ridiculous.

You are absolutely right. It is quite ridiculous.

That’s how I feel carrying my EpiPen.

I am allergic to mollusks. I can’t eat octopus, clams, oysters, squid, or snails. That seems like it should be relatively easy to avoid, right? Not as easy as you might think. I avoid eating seafood at restaurants because clam juice is the base for a lot of sauces. Soups are a nightmare for me. My last reaction that required hospitalization came when I ate Italian Chicken Vegetable. Why? Cross-contamination from Clam Chowder. I get nervous even if it’s just at the table. I had a mild reaction when several of my friends ordered seafood paella and the smell was thick in the air surrounding the table.

I am a reasonably cautious adult. I scan the entire menu, looking for things I might be allergic to. I tell servers and ask about cross-contamination. After my last hospitalization which cost me thousands of dollars even with health insurance provided by my full-time employer, I decided I should also carry an EpiPen.

When I filled the prescription, I paid $500 out of pocket because I hadn’t met my deductible. I bought them this past summer and they will expire in April 2017. That’s less than a year.

Yes, it pissed me off, but I thought that was just the price of medication in the States. It sucks, but that’s just how it is.

Then, a couple months later, I learned that EpiPens used to be cheaper—not cheap, but certainly cheaper—and that the price hike coincided with Mylan paying out massive executive bonuses.

I feel like I’ve been mugged, so now I’m trying to Clark Kent it since I’m not Superman.


I recently found this website to help me write to my representatives in government. I am sending them a copy of this article.



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