It’s no secret drug prices in the US are astronomically high. One pill can cost hundreds of dollars. Recently, some of these drug companies have come under fire for drastically increasing their prices.

The industry often claims these high costs are necessary to help cover the expense of developing new drugs. Development costs around $2.6 billion per drug, so that’s understandable.

Except for one small problem: some of the most expensive drugs were developed decades ago, even over a century in some cases.

Take EpiPen. Drugmaker Mylan has faced criticism for raising the price 500% to $300/dose. But the key ingredient is epinephrine, which is a human hormone first isolated for medicinal purposes in 1900. It costs $4.50 on the open market for other uses.

So where in the world is all that money going? Try the marketing department.

Yes, it’s expensive to develop new drugs. But it’s also very expensive to market them so people will buy them. Mylan is a perfect example: it doesn’t even make the EpiPen (that’s Pfizer). It just owns the marketing rights, and it saw there were no competitors (a whole other problem), so it raised the price.

As a Memphis drug injury lawyer, I hear the excuse every day that these companies have invested billions in development, so they must be safe. And there are of course plenty of safe, or at least necessary, drugs.

But far too often these companies pretend they’re non-profits, just trying to make ends meet like a good charity. They’re actually making billions, and it’s not all going to safety and research.

That’s all the more reason we should hold them accountable when these drugs injure people. For the patient, this can be life or death. For the drug companies, it’s all in a day’s work.

If you’ve been injured by a dangerous drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact me today.


Darrell Castle is a Memphis-based drug injury attorney who has represented clients across the Mid-South injured by prescription drugs, including Xarelto, IVC filter cases, and women injured by Johnson & Johnson baby powder, which has been linked to ovarian cancer.