I am writing to you, advocating with Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), asking you to cosponsor H.R. 7669, the Drug Shortages Shelf-Life Extension Act.
This legislation would extend the expiration dates of a number of highly needed life saving medications, including epinephrine auto injectors which are essential and often unaffordable for food allergy families. One of the greatest burdens food allergy patients and families face is the rising cost of epinephrine auto- injectors.
A CNN story from 2017 cited that the cost of these life-saving devices had increased by more than 400% since 2007. In 2022, prices continue to rise as advocates have shared that they now pay anywhere between $400 to $700 in out-of-pocket expenses as opposed to $50 a few years ago.
Last year, FARE conducted a survey of nearly 6,000 food allergy patients and families where the vast majority of respondents, 91%, earned less than $75K per year and 15% reported an income below the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four.
Among respondents, our research found that cost was the primary reason for why prescriptions were either left unfilled or not refilled after the medicine expired. Yet, research from 2017 and 2019 about epinephrine auto-injectors and their expiration dates reached the same conclusion--that these devices were effective under the FDA standard years after their expiration dates had been reached.
The 2019 study said, "All of the EAIs analyzed up to 30 months (2.5 years) beyond the labeled expiration date retained at least 90% of the drug content."
Please help the food allergy families in our district afford this life saving medication and cosponsor H.R. 7669 today.