Luxury writing instrument manufacturer Mont Blanc announced this morning that it has entered into an exclusive partnership with EpiPen producer Mylan to create an Anaphylactic Relief Instrument for upscale allergy sufferers.
Mont Blanc's EpiPens, which are handcrafted and decorated with 24-karat gold and sterling silver features, start at $1,400, only slightly more expensive than the standard EpiPens used by thousands every day to stop life threatening allergy attacks.
Mylan's chief executive Heather Bresch explained the Mont Blanc partnership as one of necessity: “After raising the price of EpiPens by 400% since 2007, I decided that I earned a raise. I mean, that was just obvious. I increased our margins so much that we were making money hand-over-fist. But then, after thinking about all my money for a while, I realized that Mylan needed to evolve its product to meet the posh sensibilities of people capable of paying $600 for an EpiPen. We identified Mont Blanc as the perfect partner because of their experience taking an item of basic necessity and pricing it at several hundred times its value.”
When asked if she felt remorse for raising the price of the emergency medication, Ms. Bresch chortled: “What! Are you crazy? Of course not, I am running a business. I am a for-profit business. I am not hiding from that, idiot.”
The Plantain accompanied Pinecrest resident Stanford Rogan, a 58-year-old lawyer with a shellfish allergy, to the Dadeland Mall's Mont Blanc boutique to pick up the engraved EpiPen he purchased for himself. “This is a thing of beauty,” said Mr. Rogan as he admired the weighted onyx handle of his purchase when a scream emanated from outside the store.
We ran outside and saw 8-year-old Girl Scout Anna May Francisco doubled over and gasping for air. Her scout leader screamed for a doctor, telling the shocked onlookers recording the scene on their cellphones that the child has a severe peanut allergy and had inadvertently taken a bite of a Tagalong cookie thinking it was a Thin Mint.
I studied Mr. Rogan’s face as he watched the girl writhe on the floor.
“I’m sure the ambulance will be here momentarily,” Mr. Rogan said guiltily as he clutched the Mont Blanc package under his arm.
“Stan,” I said slowly. “You know you have to.”
“I know. Of course, I know,” he said softly as he removed the EpiPen from its leather bound and satin-encased housing.
As Mr. Rogan kneeled by the girl's side, he remembered the fear he felt the first time he experienced anaphylactic shock. “You’ll be just fine, darling,” he reassured the child as he followed the directions on the EpiPen’s expertly designed casing:
1) Remove the handcrafted onyx sheath.
2) Insert the engraved 24-karat gold nib into the fleshy portion of the outer thigh.
3) With a quick motion, admiring the craftsmanship and sophistication of the instrument, push the sterling silver auto-injector against the thigh.
The crowd watched and then cheered as little Anna May gasped a breath full of air. As the child slowly caught her breath, she sat up, tears in her eyes, and gave Stan a hug tenderer and truer than anything he had experienced before. “I told you it would be just fine,” he said sporting a relieved smile.
Mr. Rogan stood up and placed the used EpiPen back into its leather casing. As he approached me, he seemed lost in introspective thought over the magnitude of the experience he just had and the renewed appreciation for life that it brought.
“I’m going to go see about Mont Blanc’s return policy,” he said to me quietly.