As allergy sufferers reel from the soaring costs of the EpiPen — a handheld auto-injection device of epinephrine made by Mylan that prevents life-threatening anaphylactic shock — a new oral tablet alternative is being tested that could solve a host of issues.
This comes at a time when the price of the injector has skyrocketed 500 percent since 2007. It now costs $500. That's an expensive dilemma for approximately 43 million people suffering from life-threatening allergies in the United States. Many find the price tag prohibitively expensive.
According to Popular Science, a researcher at Nova Southeastern University in Florida is responding to both the consumer outrage over the EpiPen price hike as well as to Mylan's monopoly on the device. Rather than create a new epinephrine injector, pharmaceutical researcher Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji has been exploring the development of an Epi-Pill, an epinephrine tablet that dissolves under the tongue.
Such an orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) is good for people who have trouble swallowing. It is also a way to deliver medicine orally without getting the digestive tract involved, so the drug can quickly flow into the bloodstream in seconds.
Such a pill would bypass the patent issues that allow Mylan to corner the market on the epinephrine injector, but there is a host of other issues standing in the way.