People reliant on EpiPens were in shock recently when co-pay costs for 2 EpiPens skyrocketed from around $100 to $400 and even as high as $700. In 2004, this same prescription cost only $60. For parents who have to have EpiPens with them, one at school and many times one wherever their children are for after school activities, it has become an extreme cost. Some even aren't able to refill the prescriptions which are necessary for saving lives.
Thanks to one of the moms who commented on the Facebook post we shared on this story, we learned that there are other alternatives. There are generic forms of epinephrine, they just don't come in the convenient EpiPen dispenser. You'll need to ask your doctor to write the prescription for the generic and make sure the pharmacy knows you're asking for the generic brand.
Auvi-Q was EpiPens competitor until last year when their products were pulled from the shelves giving EpiPen the monopoly. That, mixed with rising insurance costs is causing the huge spike. Many other life saving prescriptions have also seen an incredible increase.
To help with the EpiPen cost, Mylan (the company that makes the EpiPen) offers a My EpiPen Savings Card "Last year, nearly 80% of commercially insured patients used the card to receive the device for free, according to Mylan. The company also has distributed more than 700,000 free EpiPens to schools nationwide." Patients need to fill out the form to see if they are eligible. This can be a huge help for families in need and is currently available until December 31, 2016.
Changing insurance is another option but make sure you do your research before you up and leave your current company.
And this doesn't help right now but there is a start up company that promises to offer a longer-lasting, smaller and easier to use auto-injector- Abiliject. Currently, Mylan controls 90% of the $1.3 billion dollar auto-injector industry. Windgap Medical is hoping to change that. You can read more about that here- How One Startup Company Plans To End the EpiPen Monopoly.