Since 2004, the cost of an EpiPen has risen almost 450 percent. What does that mean for the millions of people with severe allergies? It means a lot of people are forgoing this life-saving injector.
Currently, a two pack is around $600.00. You can no longer buy it in singles. The shelf life is one to one and half years.
And these staggering costs aren't just affecting families. Several states require fire departments, First Responders and schools to carry EpiPens, which are putting a huge hole in their already taxed budgets.
Some are blaming the lack of competition, pointing out that the EpiPen is like Coke. Recently, a competitor withdrew from the market, and earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration refused to approve a generic EpiPen.
Last year, 4 million prescriptions were written for epinephrine injectors, three-quarters of those were for the EpiPen brand.
The rising cost of the EpiPen could have staggering repercussions apart from people dying from an allergic reaction.
It was reported that one mother, whose son was severely allergic to milk, declined to fill a prescription for $1200 and instead opted to buy a supply of syringes and epinephrine from the drug store for $20.
This may be an option for someone with extensive medical training but not for someone with no medical background. There are too many safety issues from contamination to accidental intravenous injection to the incorrect dosage that could backfire with devastating results.
And if you’ve ever needed your EpiPen, you know this isn’t something to fool around with. Some doctors recommend going to the hospital even after you given yourself an injection.
Mylan Specialty L.P reports the price of EpiPens has increased because of “multiple, important product features and the value the product provides”. Yet, the costs only seems to have risen in the US.
The cost for EpiPens in Canada can be five time less expensive.
But unfortunately, there is not a lot of options for an anaphylactic reaction. Taking Benadryl might help with the itching and slow down the reaction but it is not going to save your life.
One study revealed there are more EpiPens sold in the Northern States than in the Southern States. The thought behind this is that Vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor since it is well established that northerners are deficient in vitamin D. So another consideration might be to take vitamin D supplements.
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