“At Asthma & Allergy Associates, P.C., I have noticed increased complaints from patients regarding the high cost of EpiPens®. This seems to have evolved since the competitor Auvi-Q was taken off the market. We have heard reports of EpiPens costing up to $600. Adding insult to injury is the fact that epinephrine in a vial costs just a fraction of this. The increase in cost of Epi-pen is tough on many families.
Having injectable epinephrine ready and available is the standard of care for patients with food allergy. For children, epinephrine should be available with a food allergy action plan at the school. These patients need epinephrine at school and at home. This can lead to a doubling of the total cost for a medicine. But that (hopefully) may not be needed for the entire year before the medicine expires.
We have heard rumors: a generic alternative is being developed. But this could be many years away.
Using a vial of epinephrine and drawing the medicine into a syringe at the time of a reaction would be a less expensive choice. However, drawing up the medicine and administering it intramuscularly during the stressful time of an allergic reaction presents many opportunities for error. I certainly would not advise this at the schools and day care centers. Some families may want to learn more and we will certainly be studying this options more closely in the immediate future.”
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