Originally posted here by Dr. Javier Chinen, immunology, allergy and rheumatology expert at Texas Children’s Hospital
Recent news has elevated awareness of the increased cost of EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr.® The high cost has made it difficult for patients to access this life-saving medication. There are two equivalent alternatives to EpiPen on the market, Adrenaclick® and a generic epinephrine auto-injector. However, prices might still be significant for some families, they might not be readily available in retail pharmacies and insurance plans might not cover these options. If your doctor recommends you or your child carry an EpiPen (or an epinephrine auto-injector), these tips might be helpful:
- If you have commercial medical insurance, check your insurance pharmacy plan and ask what your best options are to get an epinephrine auto-injector.
- If your plan covers the EpiPen and your payment portion is less than $300, consider using the co-pay coupon from the manufacturer’s site (www.epipen.com/copay-offer).
- If your plan does not cover the EpiPen, or your payment portion exceeds $300, consider asking whether there are alternatives (Adrenaclick or generic epinephrine auto-injector) in the pharmacy plan and what your payment portion for these alternatives is.
- If you choose an alternative to the EpiPen, please become familiar with how to use it. Check video demonstrations on their website or ask your doctor for guidance. Although similar, there are important differences with handling the EpiPen and the alternative auto-injectors.
- These alternative epinephrine auto-injectors might also have co-pay coupon cards available online.
- Consider patient assistance programs (e.g. www.rxassist.org)
- Check options at different retail pharmacies in your neighborhood (by calling the pharmacies or visiting websites such as www.goodrx.com)
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), and Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society (TAAIS) are among the allergy-focused organizations concerned about access to epinephrine auto-injectors. More information can be obtained by visiting their websites.
Javier Chinen, MD