There is always something to worry about when you are a parent, but one thing you never want to deal with is not being able to pay for something that would save your child’s life. The cost of an Epipen could be that medication for some families due to the outrageous spike in pricing over the last several years. We are going to provide you with a few helpful tips to lower your cost of an Epipen should you ever be in the situation that you absolutely need this life saving medication.
Let’s start with a little scenario. Your baby is 6 months old and you are ready to start introducing solid foods. This is such a fun milestone to hit, but can also be terrifying at the same time worrying about food allergies. Your Pediatrician provides you with a list of do’s and dont’s, so if there is an allergic reaction you know for sure if that food is the culprit of the allergy. You decide to give peanut butter a go and watch your kiddo go to town on the half teaspoon serving you provided her. After a few minutes, your baby throws her spoon and starts itching and you notice hives start to break out all over her body.
Fast forward to your allergy appointment where your baby is clinically diagnosed with having a peanut allergy. There are lots of questions and resources provided and an order for an Epipen is sent to your local pharmacy. You stop by the pharmacy on your way home and the clerk tells you your cost of the Epipen with insurance will be $353. You kindly ask her to repeat herself to ensure you heard the cost correctly. Why in the world is the cost of an Epipen so expensive?
Why is the Cost of an Epipen so High?
An Epipen is the brand name of an auto-injectable device filled with Epinephrine. Epinephrine is a generic medication that fills a brand name tool. So many of you are probably thinking that if the drug is generic it should be relatively inexpensive especially if you have a decent insurance plan, right?
Well, when a person is having a severe allergic reaction, their blood pressure drops and their airway narrows making it very difficult to breathe causing anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is the only drug that works on the body’s entire system and why it is the only drug recommended to treat anaphylaxis. So in other words, when a company knows they have basically the only drug that could save your life should you go into anaphylaxis then why not charge top dollar for it?
The Epipen has been in the media over the last several years for the drastic increase in price. Mylan, the company that bought rights to EpiPens in 2007, has gradually increased the price of these devices from $50 to over $600 for a two-pack. To blow your mind a little further, the cost of a generic vial of Epinephrine is a measly $2.50 making the $600 price tag on these devices seem quite excessive.
In 2018, the FDA approved the first generic version of the Epipen and Epipen Jr. for adult and pediatric patients needing access to this life-saving drug. The FDA wanted to be able to provide lower-cost options for those individuals needing constant access to life-saving medications such as EpiPens. Even though there is a generic option available to patients some still find themselves struggling to lower the cost.
How Can I Lower My Cost Of An Epipen?
A big thank you to the FDA for approving the generic version, however, the cost is not much better than the brand name, still costing about half the price of the brand drug. Cash price on average is about $390 for a pack of two Epipens, which is still not affordable for many Americans. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to save.
Tip #1: Use a GoodRX Coupon
Having the GoodRx coupon can reduce the cost of the generic Epipen to as little as $125 for a package of two auto-injectors. The process is simple. All you need to do is go online to GoodRX.com, type in the exact prescription and print, text or email the coupon to yourself. There will be different pharmacy location options you can select and the price is subject to change based on these locations. Once you have the coupon, make sure your doctor’s office sends the Epipen order to your pharmacy of choice and present the coupon before you pay!
Tip #2: Check The Manufacturer Coupon
My Epipen Savings Card can provide savings for eligible individuals who have commercial health insurance to save on their out of pocket expense. Go to the manufacturer’s website (i.e. Epipen.com), check to see if you’re eligible, then print the savings offer or store it on your smartphone for future use. Each time your prescription order is placed or you need to refill, present the coupon and save! My Epipen Savings Card is reusable for up to six Epipen 2-Pack cartons. To see if you are eligible check out this website.
Tip #3: Try A Different Auto-Injector
Adrenaclick: This alternative auto-injectable device is similar to Epipen but made by another manufacturer, Impax. The cost of this device is slightly less than the Epipen with the GoodRX coupon, lowing the price to approximately $109.
AUVI-Q: The average cash price for the AUVI-Q auto-injector is expensive, however, the manufacturer offers this drug to eligible patients for free through the patient assistance program. Read more about this program to see if your family might qualify.
Symjepi: Another great compact alternative to the Epipen. Symjepi is packaged in an easy to carry and ready to use device for allergic emergencies. GoodRX has partnered with Inside RX and Sandoz to help reduce the cost for Symjepi. Check out GoodRx savings tips for Copay cards, assistance programs and other ways to reduce the cost.
Tip #4: Use Your Insurance
If you are going for the generic version of the EpiPen, some insurance plans will cover the cost. However, with the rise in high deductible plans, you could see a large bill still costing you a fortune if your deductible has not been met. Double-check with your carrier before purchasing to ensure you are receiving the best-discounted price. You can also talk with your provider about potentially doing an appeal if your insurance plan won’t cover the cost.
The moral of the story… the cost of an EpiPen is very expensive. However, there are ways around paying an arm and a leg for this life-saving medication that is absolutely necessary to treat a severe allergic reaction.
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