Sarah Peterson, M.D.
Allergy and Immunology, NCH Medical Group
About 43 million people are at risk of anaphylaxis – the life-threatening allergic reaction that epinephrine is designed to counteract. That illustrates that the recent price spike of the EpiPen® has widespread repercussions.
As has been reported by the media, the cash price for the EpiPen® (epinephrine) auto-injector two-pack has risen steadily over the last several years, with a recent, more dramatic increase to approximately $700 per prescription according to GoodRx.com. In today’s climate of high-deductible healthcare plans, this price spike can translate directly to an out of pocket expense of several hundred dollars per prescription for people who need this medication.
Although Mylan, the manufacturer of EpiPen®, does offer a coupon reducing out of pocket costs by up to $300 for a two-pack, this still leaves a large financial burden on many patients and families.
The good news is, there are some options. Mylan has announced that it will release a generic equivalent to EpiPen® in the near future. And, there are other epinephrine auto-injectors available for a lower cost. Not all of these options use the same delivery device, so it’s very important to get trained on how to use them. A few other pharmaceutical companies also have announced plans to release other epinephrine auto-injector options over the next year or so.
In the meantime, I encourage patients and their families to discuss prescribing options with their doctor to find the most affordable choice.