The EpiPen was a perfect symbol of the current state of pharmaceutical companies and health care expenses: It was a life-saving drug that had been around for decades, often used by children, and with a price that kept rising. The controversy over the epinephrine injectors led to news stories, a Congressional hearing, a $465 million settlement for overcharging Medicaid, and investigations by the states of New York and West Virginia.
Requiring epinephrine auto-injectors to be available in schools in case a child has a life-threatening allergic reaction isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Under some circumstances, it’s a life-saving one. However, EpiPen maker Mylan recruited mothers of children with food allergies as ambassadors for its own interests a few years ago while continuing to hike the price of EpiPens, hurting the very same community of families. Now the bloggers question their participation in Mylan’s “summits” and their blogging for the cause. [More]
As it turns out, raising the price of something can have the effect of turning people off that product. So it went for Netflix, which said this week that it’s lost some customers after instituting planned price hikes that affected around 17 million customers. [More]
If you’ve got a grandfathered Netflix Standard plan that has you paying just $7.99 per month for HD streaming, here’s your reminder that you’ll either be paying $9.99 come May for the same quality and the ability to watch content on two screens at a time, or will be stuck in standard definition on only one screen. You’re not alone — an estimated 17 million customers in the U.S. will be affected by the change, and many of them aren’t aware of it. [More]
Amazon is always adjusting their prices, and sometimes those adjustments aren’t in your favor. When you throw an item in your cart and the price suddenly rises by five or ten bucks, that’s enough to make you look for it elsewhere, or maybe not buy the item at all if it wasn’t something that you needed. Yet there is a way to get Amazon to bring the price back down: ask nicely. [More]
If you find Sprint’s deal offering unlimited voice, text, and data usage for $60 per month tempting and Sprint coverage in your area is good, you should go ahead and switch right now. Sprint is raising the price for new customers by $10 on October 15, but it will remain the cheapest unlimited postpaid plan in the country even after the price hike. [More]
The bad news: If you’re thinking of subscribing to Netflix’s streaming program, you’ll be paying $1 more than those customers already signed up. But the good news for Netflix veterans? Existing subscribers won’t see a price hike for two years, the company says. [More]
Travelers taking off or landing in countries in the European Union may notice a bump in airline fares, as U.S. Airways and American Airlines have joined Delta and United Continental in adding a $3 surcharge each way to help offset the cost of a new carbon emissions law.
With rival movie rental services Netflix and Redbox already having raised their prices, Blockbuster Express decided to follow suit, doubling the price of some movies to $2 for the first night starting Tuesday. The hike applies to releases that have been out between 29 and 90 days, while older movies will remain at $1 a night. New releases that have been out for four weeks or less will remain $3 for the first night.
When Netflix announced it would split up its streaming and disc subscriptions, making customers choose streaming or one-disc-at-a-time plans at $7.99 a month each, it didn’t offer much of an explanation as to why the price hike was needed. A writer at The Motley Fool took CEO Reed Hastings to task and asked him to justify the increase, and was surprised to get a response.
If you’ve been enjoying paying $9.99 for unlimited streaming and DVDs from Netflix, get ready to pay more — or have to choose between watching movies online or through your DVD player.
As of Monday, an annual Xbox Live Gold subscription costs $60 a year, a 20 percent jump from Sunday, when it was $50. Microsoft is here to assure you that the inflation is in your best interest, and necessary for the company to keep pace with its rising costs to do something or other.
LiveCheap uncovers ways in which grocery stores make you pay more for less with subtle techniques you may not easily notice. It seems supermarkets can get mighty sketchy when it comes to arranging its meat section.
Several states are reporting this morning that average gas prices have crept up slightly, despite the fact that oil consumption has dropped and refiners are operating below capacity. The Miami Herald blames the price creep on Wall Street speculators who are optimistic that the economy is getting better, which in turn will lead to increased gas consumption.
Starting in May, American Airlines will sell blanket-and-inflatable-pillow packs for $8 each on domestic flights longer than 2 hours. If your flight is under 2 hours and you tend to get cold on a plane, relax: you can’t shiver to death in under 2 hours, and by then you’ll be at your destination. Or, okay, still on the runway at your departure spot, raiding your carry-on for snacks. You might want to bring a light jacket.