Why Broadway Vendors need to make sure they take notice of this.

You’ve all heard of the EpiPen, right?  Whether or not you’ve ever needed an emergency dose of Epinephrine to quell an allergic reaction, I’d bet the price of an EpiPen that you know all about it . . . thanks to the firestorm of press the drug delivery device got last year when its manufacturer (Mylan) started charging close to $600, when it used to cost $57.

But you probably haven’t heard of the EpiPencil.

The EpiPencil costs less than $35, and was designed by a hacker group called Four Thieves Vinegar Collective.  And they’re not selling them . . . oh no . . . they just posted a video telling viewers what they need to make their own.

Yep, that’s right, people are making their own medical devices.

Now, obviously there are a lot of risks involved with something like this, so don’t take this blog as a recommendation to put in your own pacemaker or anything.

But the trend is important.

Because I think the over-charging disease that has infected a lot of Big Pharmaceutical Companies, has also spread to Big Broadway Vendors.  Especially in this boom time we’re living/working in right now.  (Want some proof?  Why is it that we’re grossing more than ever before, and more people are coming than ever before, but profitability is NOT increasing? We’re still recouping the same 1 out of 5 shows we’ve always recouped.)

For years, so many of our vendors have had a monopoly on the products and services they provide for our industry.  Not only was it always just easier to go to the companies you’ve used before, but many of them used a fear tactic of “Oh, you can’t go anywhere else, we’re the only ones who know how to do this.  Our industry is so special,” to get folks to keep coming back.  (Also, so many of the decisions for what vendors and companies use falls to the General Managers, Production Managers, Press Agents, and so on . . . who aren’t the ones paying the bills.)

But let the EpiPencil be a warning to them all.  The DIY movement has reached its tipping point.  There ain’t much that a consumer can’t do on their own anymore, or find someone else to do it cheaper . . . and maybe even better.

The purchasers of Broadway products and services are getting smarter . . . so it’s time that vendors deliver top notch services  and prices that are reasonable, or we will find a way to do it ourselves.

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