EpiPencil: A DIY version of EpiPen by hackers for only $30 – Headlines & Global News

September 28, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

A group of pharma hackers are offering a cheaper alternative to EpiPen, a medical device for asthma and allergies.

By Leny Lava | Sep 28, 2016 07:54 AM EDT

House Oversight Committee Holds Hearing On Rising Price Of EpiPens With Mylan Inc. CEO Heather Bresch

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 21: A 2-pack of EpiPen is seen on the witness table during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee September 21, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on ‘Reviewing the Rising Price of EpiPens.’
(Photo : Alex Wong / Staff)

The popular epinephrine-loaded EpiPen, priced at $600 in the US,  now has a cheaper counter-part for only $30.  

EpiPencil, a Do-It -Yourself  (DIY) device, was  introduced by a group of pharma hackers, The Four Thieves Vinegar, last September 19.


EpiPen, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Mylan , is being  used to treat severe cases of asthma and allergies. For a span of seven years, its pricing rose by  300 %  resulting to public outcry. On August 2016, the company launched a generic version for $ 300, confirming suspicions that EpiPen can actually be offered at a much lower price.

In a five-minute video uploaded on You Tube, a member of the group of hackers, Michael Laufer, explains how consumers can make their own EpiPencil.


According to Quartz, coming up with an EpiPencil seems simple enough with Laufer claiming that “with no special training, anybody can use it.”

Techtimes described that to be able to build the DIY EpiPencil, one would only need an auto-injector, commonly used by diabetes patients, hypodermic needles and the anti-allergic drug which can either be prescribed or bought online.

Techtimes added that while the alternative device offered by the hackers may be beneficial since it is affordable compared to EpiPen, consumers need to think well first.  

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson Kristofer Baumgartner, in a report by the website in-Pharmaceutical Technologist.com, explained that the purpose of auto-injectors is to save lives, hence they ought to be of ” high standards and reliable enough” so one can use it “safely and effectively.”

Jennifer Miller, New York University’s professor for medical ethics, commented on the magazine Spectrum , “If your child is having a life-threatening allergic reaction, you want to make sure they get the right medicine, at the right time, at the right dose.”

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