For so many Americans, innocent and everyday items, such as peanuts and bee stings, can cause them to go into anaphylaxis shock. This is a fatal allergic reaction.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis Shock
- Wheezing, difficulty breathing or swallowing (due to throat swelling)
- Drop in blood pressure, possible fainting
- Tightness in chest
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps
- Either pale or red skin color
The good news is that there is a way to treat this and save the person. It’s a shot in the leg of a product called Epinephrine. The bad news is that these auto-injectors can be incredibly pricey. A well-known brand name for this life-saving drug is called EpiPen, and it costs around $700 for a pack of two. You may be asking why it’s so expensive.
The EpiPen Monopoly
Between the years of 2011 and 2016, the brand name EpiPen company called Mylan became the sole manufacturer of auto-injectors of Epinephrine in the United States, including both EpiPen and EpiPen Jr., for kids. This allowed the company to slowly raise their prices 400% until it became what we still see it as today. There wasn’t any competition, yet still a lot of demand since so many people have life-threatening food allergies. While the company’s pricing is still high, there have been generic versions hit the market since EpiPen was exposed for its unfair advantage.
Are There Any Ways to Save Money Through EpiPen?
Before we talk about generic versions, we will mention what EpiPen has done to help people get a lower price.
Mylan has two discount cards. First, they have an EpiPen Savings Card. If you have commercial insurance coverage, then you can save up to $300 on your two-pack of EpiPen using their savings card. For Mylan’s generic version, they have the “Mylan’s Epinephrine Injection, USP Auto-Injector Card”. This will save you up to $25 on the generic version.
Generic Versions of EpiPen Auto-Injector
EpiPen’s tend to have a shelf life of about a year or so. Make sure you check the expiration date before you walk out of your pharmacy. That is to say though that it’s important to have affordable options for replacement, especially since an EpiPen can remain unused for a while. Generic versions are the first option to look at when trying to save money on an EpiPen. Mylan came out with an authorized generic brands for EpiPen that can be found from $150 – $400 depending on the pharmacy. If you don’t have health insurance and intend on paying cash, then you’ll want to shop around and also look into coupons, which we’ll go into later. Other generic brands include Adrenaclick and its generic version from Impax, Auvi-Q, Symjepi, and Epinephrine from Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Without coverage from an insurance company or a coupon, this brand can cost around $500.
This is the generic version of Adrenaclick. You can find this for closer to $100 at certain pharmacies, and the company itself has a discount program available so that you pay nothing for the prescription drug. Be aware that as of June 1, 2020, there was a statement released concerning a safety issue with Impax.
Auvi-Q is a good option if you qualify for their Kaléo Cares Patient Assistance Program. Then, instead of paying their sticker price of around $5,000, which makes the brand name EpiPen look very good, you can pay $0. If you are eligible for Medicare/Medicaid, you can also qualify for the free Auvi-Q.
This generic version will have an out-of-pocket cost of between $240 and $280. Symjepi also have a savings program with a card that can save you $100 or lower the price to $0.
Epinephrine from Teva Pharmaceuticals
Teva’s prices has potential to be the lowest off the bat. The cost will range from $95 to $300. They don’t have a discount program, but do offer $30 off using their savings card, which you can download off of their website.
Using Insurance Plans
If you have health insurance, it’s a great way to lower the cost of your lifesaving prescription drugs like EpiPen. Note that you do need a prescription in order to purchase an EpiPen. Insurance may lower the price significantly when it comes to generic versions as well.
Using Coupons and Apps like Carecard
Whether you have insurance or not, coupons are always helpful. These can be found all over the internet, and like was shown above even through the manufacturer. There are also apps that can send you a discount card. Carecard is an app like this that’s easy to use, showing you the lowest prices at pharmacies near you. No insurance is required and it’s available at over 35,000 pharmacies across the country! Save up to 63% on brand name EpiPen using Carecard.