Our family is fortunate not to need EpiPens, but we have relatives who do and the soaring cost of this life saving medicine is outrageous. It appears to be a greed grab by the drug company, although I’m sure they have expenses, I am appalled at how they seem to be taking advantage of people who desperately need this medication. If you are a cash pay customer then finding an affordable solution is critical.
My favorite discount drug site has an article about how to get epipens for less, including a couple of other brand and generic options that are significantly cheaper. Goodrx has coupons to make these options cost about $142 instead of $600 for EpiPen. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist if Adrenaclick, and its generic epinephrin are acceptable and safe for your family. If they are, this may be a great way to keep costs lower. Localized shortages may occur as people find out about the cheaper cost option.
The article also points out an income based discount program offered by the drug manufacturer, which could work for many. You can read more about the options they present and get access to the coupon through this blog link: http://www.goodrx.com/blog/as-epipen-prices-soar-what-are-your-options/ and also good information is at this link: http://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/how-to-get-cheaper-epipen-alternative/ and http://abc22now.com/news/local/epinephrine-injection-kit-for-under-10?utm_content=buffera0634&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=WNMbuffer
Update: Public outcry has caused Mylan Pharmaceuticals to cut the price of epipens in 1/2 with a $300 discount card for those paying full price. Of course, the full rate will likely still be charged to the insurance companies, and the resulting $300 pricetag for cash customers is still too high. Bloomberg reports that the medicine inside costs $1, yet customers are being charged $300-$600. Public and congressional pressure to lower the cost created the reduction, I’m hopeful that more reductions will come soon or that the other options will boost production to ensure the availability of Adrenaclick and epinephrin for those who are able to use it. I’ve also heard that using a syringe and injecting the medication is an even cheaper option, but it’s not quite as simple as the auto injectors so talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if that’s an option for you and your family. Also verify whether it is as effective as in those situations time is of the essence and you need to be sure it’s going to work quickly.
Update 2: Americans are turning to Canadian pharmacies to order their epipens with huge savings as a result. Other Samaritan members reported these as options. www.canadadrugs.com, www.planetdrugsdirect.com, and www.jandrugs.com. Please do your homework to determine if these are good options for your family. Here’s a link to an article from a Canadian news source regarding the issue. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/08/25/americans-turn-to-canada-for-cheaper-epipens.html
2 thoughts on “Alternatives to EpiPen Soaring Prices”
I’m so glad that you are offering alternatives to this horrible situation. I did a bunch of research into it myself since I have a child with life-threatening food allergies. I personally prefer the alternatives to Mylan (even with their cost saving coupon) if for no other reason than to not give them any more money.
You can of course not publish this link but in this post I discuss Canadian options as well, with the least expensive being Northwest Pharmacy. http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/cost-of-epipen-buy-cheaper-epipen/
We are considering Samaritan Ministries for down the road, however my one big concern is the limit on coverage for auto accidents.
Best to you,
Hi Adrienne! Thanks for writing. Your article about the epipens was really informative, I think readers would appreciate the extra information you provide. Regarding Samaritan’s sharing of auto accidents, I’m not sure which limits you’re referring to. I did more digging to be sure I hadn’t missed anything, and the guidelines for accident sharing state that really the only time an accident doesn’t qualify for sharing is when the member is doing something illegal, riding a 3 wheeler (4 wheelers are ok), under the influence, or formal racing/stunt competitions (if the member is the victim of those things then it’s all shareable, such as the other driver being drunk, etc). Most auto insurance policies have a medical portion, so Samaritan is 2nd payer for any accident where a responsible/liable insurance policy would pay (so Samaritan shares whatever they don’t), but otherwise they share for auto accident expenses just like any other. If there’s no insurance coverage pertaining to the accident then Samaritan is 1st payer. That was an area we examined closely for our family before we joined and I feel very comfortable that Samaritan will share costs for any we might have. We are farmers, so the potential tractor/farm equipment portion was also big for us and those are fully shareable. Since we won’t be doing anything illegal or doing any racing/competitions those requirements were no concern to us. They even publish auto accident needs if you’re on a bicycle, a pedestrian, a bystander, etc. As for a dollar limit, it falls under the same $250,000 per incident for the base membership, but there’s no limit at all if the member is part of Save to Share. For specific scenarios you are concerned about I recommend calling Samaritan as they can address those concerns with even more detail. They are a very friendly group and it should help alleviate any concerns you have there.