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EpiPen sticker shock has people scrambling for alternatives

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County,Prince George's County,Anne Arundel County
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HOLLYWOOD, Md. – The generic version of most prescription medications are as effectively as the name brand version.

People who use EpiPens have faced quite a sticker shock with the recent announcement by Mylan, the makers of the EpiPen.

With a sticker price increase of nearly 400 percent, the device, sold at a wholesale price of under $60 in 2007, has risen to $600 for a two-pack in 2016. Many state lawmakers are now calling for a price-gouging investigation into Mylan, according to this source.

According to doctors, parents are feeling the biggest impact. Adults typically carry two emergency pens with them, while parents must stock pens at multiple places where their child spends the day.

Some people have two pens each for grandparents or other family members, two for school, two for other locations. Many people are having to pay out of pocket for the additional pens, as some insurances will only pay for one box a month. Old pens can’t be saved, as they expire every year.

Doctors have suggested parents look for alternatives to the EpiPen, which is a brand name of the auto-injector.  He said patients can ask their doctor for a generic brand auto-injector or make their own device.

A Facebook friend of mine recently suggested an alternative brand, Adrenaclick, is the same medicine in a slightly different auto-injector.

As it can’t be considered an EpiPen generic, it requires a specific prescription. Depending on the insurance coverage a family has, this medication can be an affordable alternative.

According to GoodRx, a two-pack of Adrenaclick injectors costs as little as $142 with a free coupon. That’s still not cheap, but it helps.

GoodRx’s prices include both name-brand Adrenaclick and its generic version, but one has to be careful when using them. Make sure you read the instructions if you decide to change medications.

If you still want to stick with EpiPens, their maker, Mylan, is offering a coupon that knocks down your copay by $100. They call it a “$0 copay” coupon, but read the fine print, as this lets them keep charging the higher price to insurance companies and to anyone without the coupon.

Just because a name brand of your medication has increased in price doesn’t mean you have to stay with that medication. You have options.

Contact Jacqui Atkielski at j.atkielski@thebaynet.com

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