Like many people, I am in shock about the price of Epi Pens. In our family of 5, three of us need Epi Pens.
I am allergic to seafood.
Son #2 has a tree nut allergy (not to be confused with peanuts - which are NOT a nut - but from the 'legume family'.)
Son #1 had anaphylaxis (a SEVERE allergic reaction) after getting his weekly allergy shot. The scary thing is that we don't know WHAT part of his allergy serum caused the reaction.
I can avoid seafood, and Son #2 can avoid tree nuts, but Son #1 doesn't know what he needs to avoid - it could have been anything in his allergy serum.
So we need 3 sets of Epi Pen twin packs. If we had a high deductible health insurance (thankfully we don't) it would cost us $1800. I'm not sure how much it will cost us, guess I'll find out when I go to the pharmacy.
You may have seen news articles about the crazy price increase for Epi Pens. In 2009, a twin pack was about $100, today the exact same thing is $600. 3 senators are outraged, including Senator Amy Klobucher. She feels that Mylan (the company that makes Epi Pens) is unfairly raising prices in America. She says the Epi Pens cost hundreds of dollars less in Canada and other countries.
You can watch her interview on CNN. She is also the mother of a 21 year old daughter who carries an Epi Pen, so she knows the danger of allergies.
The frustrating thing that news outlets are showing is that the CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, is making a LOT of money from this. In the interview on CNBC, she keeps blaming the cost on others (pharmacies, insurance companies, etc.)
But a VERY interesting thing is happening. Each year, as the cost of Epi Pens rose, so did Heather Bresch's salary and perks. A story in the The Washington Post says Bresch made a little over 2 million dollars in 2009, and is now making almost 19 million.
Let that sink in for a minute. Many people are struggling to pay for Epi Pens, and she is making almost $19 million dollars per year. I can't even process how much money that is.....
Suddenly, Mylan is expanding their prescription assistance programs (why don't they just drop the price?!) You can see how by scrolling down to the bottom of this CNBC article.
So, what can you do to be able to pay for your Epi Pens? Allergy & Asthma Network is a great resource. This is their mission statement:
Allergy & Asthma Network Mission
Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading nonprofit organization whose mission is to end the needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions through outreach, education, advocacy and research.
One of their followers on Facebook asked how Allergy & Asthma Network can help. This is their response:
Allergy & Asthma Network Allergy & Asthma Network will speak with you to better understand your plan and the specific options for co-pay cards, prescription assistance or free epi program. Please call 1-800-878-4403 or send an email to speak with us directly. twinders@AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org
Our family has also used Needymeds over the years for prescription help. This is their page of companies that have copay assistance for Epi Pen twin packs
This is the link to copay assistance for Epi Pen Jr Twin Packs
Okay, rant over.
PLEASE do not go without your Epi Pen!
If your doctor has prescribed one, it can save your life. I watched Son #1 have anaphylaxis and I never want to see that again as long as I live. I will never forget how scary and dangerous that was.
Check with the Allergy & Asthma Network, Needymeds or any other co-pay assistance website.