Pediatricians Call On Mylan To Make EpiPens More Affordable

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Following reports on the skyrocketing cost of the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, drugmaker Mylan has been heavily criticized for putting profit over patients. Even the recent expansion of its savings card program has been slammed as being more beneficial to Mylan than it is for consumers. Now, the nation’s largest group of pediatricians are calling on the company to rethink its pricing of the drug.

Benard Dreyer, MD, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says the organization has become “gravely concerned” in recent years as the price for the epinephrine auto-injector has risen by as much as 600%, leaving some people unable to obtain the emergency medication or buy it illegally from places like eBay.

“In some parts of the country, prices for a dual pack of epinephrine auto-injectors exceed $500. Even with insurance, some patients pay co-pays as high as $200 per dual pack,” notes Dreyer, whose organization represents more than 60,000 physicians. “Moreover, because of the current expiration date, products must be replaced every year. Every child’s safety is of equal importance, and no parent should have to worry about how to pay for access to life-saving allergy medication for their child.”

The cost burden increases significantly for parents with multiple children who face allergies. Having a single EpiPen probably won’t do if both of your peanut-allergic kids unwittingly eat from the same batch of nut-containing brownies.

“Some families are splitting the doses because of the financial burden, placing children at risk,” writes Dreyer, calling for urgent solutions to the problem.

“Now is the time for all interested stakeholders–families, doctors, manufacturers, distributors, payers and government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration–to act quickly to alleviate the financial hardships faced by families.”

Our colleagues at Consumer Reports recently recommended that people who might need EpiPens look into the less-expensive generic alternative Adrenaclick.

CR also recently explained that in order to get Adrenaclick, you’d likely need your doctor to not specify “EpiPen” on your prescription, but instead something like “epinephrine auto-injector” or “generic Adrenaclick.”

Because this lower-cost generic may be in short supply, you should call around to your local pharmacies to check on the price and availability. Some pharmacies that do have it in stock have been charging the same high price they charge for EpiPens, but there are also coupons that can bring the price down, reports CR.

If you have time to wait because you already have an EpiPen in case of emergency, you can ask your pharmacist to order Adrenaclick for you.