Epipen

19 replies [Last post]
By Sue B on Thu, 05-27-99, 21:22

I have just returned from my allergists office with my 5yr peanut allergic son and was informed that as of April 23rd in Canada you no longer require a prescription to obtain an Epipen. A person can now go to the pharmacist and request an Epipen and be given one. This also means that once the Health Insurance companies become aware of this they will no longer be convering the costs of the Epipen therefore leaving some people requiring the Epipen in a tough spot financially (approximately $85.00 per pen). The other concern raised by my allergist is that people may decide that the don't want to put out the cash for something that they will hopefully never have to use. After reading an article in our local paper about a 29 year who died from his reaction because he was not carrying his Epipen and didn't get to the hospital in time, this really concerns me and it should concern others as well. Does anyone have any information on this and/or any suggestions as to what can be done.

Sue

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By Patsmom on Fri, 05-28-99, 14:49

Wow! I had no idea the EpiPen's are $85 each. Fortunately since they're covered under our prescription plan, our share is only $5 each.

At first when I read that you'd no longer need a prescription, my reaction was, "That's good, more convenient!"

But I'm glad you pointed out the cost! I'd rather have it remain a prescription drug--not a big deal to get the prescrip. from the doctor or have him/her call it in to the pharmacy, esp. if it's saving us $80 per Epi! I agree that many won't get it if it's not covered & remains so expensive. I haven't heard of it becoming available over-the-counter in the U.S.

Karen

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By Rhonda on Mon, 05-31-99, 20:49

Your topic is timely - I was just at the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada Annual Meeting yesturday and this was mention to us that the EpiPens are being re-classified and thus may very well end up not covered by the insurance companies - this is a huge concern as it indicated that many may not see this med. as a life saving required drug.

At the meeting it was mention that the address of the specific Health Canada office would be included in the next newsletter and that we should write/call/email our concerns - pass this cause along to your friends and family as we can only change things in numbers it seems.

The Anaphylaxis Network of Canada is at 416 - 785-5666 (maybe you can call and get the address details if you don't get their newsletters)

I will be writing my M.P. as well as anyone else who will listen -

Good Luck -
It seems we have made so many steps forward and then this - one can really get discouraged.

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By Sue B on Mon, 05-31-99, 22:58

Thanks Rhonda for your reply to my Epipen concerns. I have spoken to several members of our Anaphylaxis Parent Group and they were in attendance at yesterdays meeting and passed along similar information. I will also be writing to my MP and may possibly be starting a petition to have this decision reversed because as you said this takes away the seriousness of the allergy in some peoples eyes and they may not consider the life-saving degree of the epipen. Hopefully we will be able to make a difference for our children's sake and all those others who require this life-saving medication.

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By justinsmom on Thu, 06-03-99, 09:26

I can not believe that Epi Pens may be available without a RX. I have been told by many doctors that they are dangerous for people to use if they are not having an attack (apparently can cause the heart to slow down to dangerous levels) If a drug is unsafe for the general public to use(benedryl, would not harm someone if they took it without needing it.) Then how can they do this??

Is there any way to start a petition on this site?? That we can mail to the right people?? I will also call my MPP.

What about families that are low income - how will they afford it?? Adults, who are unable or unwilling to pay so much for them may not buy them aswell. Right now I have to have 7 Pens at all times. 2 for daycare, 2 for school, 2 on me, and one that is left at grandma's ( just in case we forget to leave it there when he stays over night.) Can you imagine the cost, if they were not covered???

If we can't start a petition on line, Then maybe we should post notices for people to e-mail us there complaints ( all of us in our own little area of town) and send those in.

We need to come up with a game plan, and let people know how serious this allergy is. We have come so far, not to be stopped by this!!!

Anyone with some ideas. please let me know.
Donna

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By Sue B on Thu, 06-03-99, 12:21

Hi Donna,

I agree with you whole-heartedly!! I'm am looking into getting a petition started and at our next Parent support group in Halton we are going to brain-sotrm and figured out where to start. Apparently, there will be a number available for Health and Welfare to contact and register our complaints. Where abouts do you live in Ontario?

We have to keep fighting the fight and letting people know that this is a life-threatening allergy and we can't belittle it's severity by doing this with epipens.

Sue

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By SteveW on Thu, 06-03-99, 13:29

Donna,

FYI, Epinephrine increases blood pressure and speeds up the heartbeat.

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By justinsmom on Thu, 06-03-99, 20:09

I e-mailed a couple people this morning about this issue, and have recieved a message back from John Weisnagel of The Associiation of Allergist and Immunologist of Quebec, as well, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He has not heard any information about Epi's being available over the counter, and actually said he finds it hard to believe that it would ever be considered, because of the dangerous side effects.
FAN aslo sent me a message saying that they have not heard any info and they will check into it. Are we sure we have out info right???

STEVE W

You are right, As you can see I was writing at about 5AM, after writing a paper all night. I got a little mixed up.

Sue B
I live in Toronto.

I will be calling my allergist for an appointment on Monday, and will update you as to what he says.

Also if I get any more info e-mailed to me I will let you all know.

Donna

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By justinsmom on Thu, 06-03-99, 20:12

I e-mailed a couple people this morning about this issue, and have recieved a message back from John Weisnagel of The Association of Allergist and Immunologist of Quebec, as well, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He has not heard any information about Epi's being available over the counter, and actually said he finds it hard to believe that it would ever be considered, because of the dangerous side effects.
FAN aslo sent me a message saying that they have not heard any info and they will check into it. Are we sure we have out info right???

STEVE W

You are right, As you can see I was writing at about 5AM, after writing a paper all night. I got a little mixed up.

Sue B
I live in Toronto.

I will be calling my allergist for an appointment on Monday, and will update you as to what he says.

Also if I get any more info e-mailed to me I will let you all know.

Donna

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By Sue B on Fri, 06-04-99, 13:37

Hi Donna,

The information I received on the epipens came directly from my allergist. She had received the information from a patient who went into her pharmacist for a repeat and was told she no longer required a prescription to obtain an epipen. Several of the parents from our Anaphylaxis group were at the annual FAN meeting on May 30th and they were told that the information was correct and my allergist was actually a speaker and addressed the issue and what needs to be done. Let me know if you hear anything different.

sue

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By Kathryn on Fri, 06-04-99, 14:03

Hi, I checked with several pharmacies locally and all of them gave me the same information: the federal regulations/schedules were changed as of April 23 and epi-pens do not require a prescription. I have been searching for the text of the changed regulation but have not located it yet. I'll let you know if I do. I too am contacting my political representatives to ask for reconsideration of this decision.

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By DebO on Fri, 06-04-99, 21:01

Has anyone contacted any of the insurance companies yet to see if they will still cover the epi-pen even though it is non-prescription? I think there are some things that even though they can be purchased without a prescription if you do have one, then the insurance company will cover it, but I am not really sure.

__________________

[B]**ENRICHED**{/B}

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By DebO on Fri, 07-30-99, 04:21

In case anyone else was wondering about this, I thought I would post some info. I had to pick up a new epi-pen for my daughter yesterday, and my pharmacist told me that there was a period this spring when epi-pens were available over the counter, but now they are back to requiring a prescription. She commented on the fact that the requirements/restrictions appear to be constantly changing!

__________________

[B]**ENRICHED**{/B}

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Sat, 07-31-99, 04:56

I have heard from many of you in Canada who are concerned about the Epi-Pens being changed to an over the counter drug. I have heard many of the reasons that you are not supportive of this. Some of you have questions on why this happened etc. and some of you thought that it was because it was a cost reduction for your countries health plan. As you know we will help you to work on staying safe. The site is here to help all of us with peanut allergy and if you have a petition that you want others to see and support, feel free to post it and contact us so we can e mail it out to everyone in Canada that has told us their contact information. (This is a good example of why we want everyone who has found this site to tell us they are out there and how to contact them!)

We will also help you get it in the media (as well as put it on the PeanutAllergy.Com site)
We can help you put a petition together and find others to network with so you can work out the details and figure out which is better, to have the Epi-Pen over the counter or by prescription only.

I wanted to make sure you knew the web site is here to assist all of us deal with peanut allergy issues.

Don't forget that many people do not write to the discussion boards. Only a small percentage of those of us who use the site actually post. Almost everyone does go to the boards, almost daily, so if you want others to email you post your email address plainly in your post because many are new to the web and computers and do not know how to find your e mail address by clicking on the little envelope symbol in your post.

It will take some work but if you have something or can put something together which you want us to send out to others in Canada to find support for your petition or to network so you can work on this issue email me.

Here is a link to a form which you can fill out to give us your contact information. If you are unsure if you have sent in your address, phone and/ or email address just fill it out again or send us the information in a regular e mail. I hope you realize that by organizing and having more of us that we can get more done, and that we are taken more seriously by all.
Click on this link
[url="http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm"]http://www.nutallergy.com/maillist.htm[/url]

------------------
Stay Safe

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

[This message has been edited by Chris PeanutAllergy Com (edited July 31, 1999).]

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By Sue on Tue, 02-15-00, 05:01

Hi,

Let me start by saying I THINK I HVE THIS UNDER CONTROL [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Yesterday I stopped in at the Walgreens Pharmacy to see how many of the EpiPen Jr shots they had on hand and what the expirations dates were on the pens. I need six and they had five - they can order more, which is O.K.

Well, the expiration dates were April 2000. I told them that they would need to order new ones as I need six that would not expire in two months. I was informed by the lady in the pharmacy that the pharmacist told her that because of the large quanity of EpiPens involved in the last recall the expiration date on the pens could be no more than two months out!

I told her that means that I have to buy at least 36 pens a year! I can't do it and I bet the insurance company won't do it.

I went home and called DEY labs - the lady I talked to said that there was no way that I should be getting new EpiPens with anything shorter than a six month expiration date and as a rule it was closer to a year for the normal expiration - she suggested that I contact another pharmacy.

She then said that she will contact the pharmacy and let them know that they can return those EpiPens and get new pens or get credit, but they should not dispense the EpiPens with a two month shelf life. She was so nice!!! She said she will get back to me as soon as she finds out what is going on.

I don't want this to worry anyone - as I am sure it only happened at my regular pharmacy - I will call another pharmacy tomorrow.

I just want to let you know that if I had accepted the Pens with the two month expiration date I would have been out of a lot of money!!!

Guess we not only have to spend hours reading labels, but also making phone calls on things we shouldn't have to worry about.

Sue in Sunny Arizona

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By Lisa M on Thu, 02-17-00, 19:12

That would infuriate me. I called 5 pharmacies last time to find out who had two pens (I needed two new ones to leave at the school) with the latest expiration date. My regular pharmacy acted annoyed when they had a couple that expired in 5 months and I asked did they have any more and they admitted they and a few more that expired in 9 months. I said I would take two of the latest expiring ones. They acted like I was messing up their rotation of products. I really don't care! I have to pay these out of pocket and I need them to last as long as possible! I really want at least a year on the dates.

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By scywong on Fri, 02-18-00, 06:44

I'm from Canada too...Toronto to be exact. I am just wondering cause I don't notice that anyone mentions the Ana-Kit. I have always used the Ana-Kit which is a bit inconvenient compared to the epi-pen but, it is (surprisingly) covered by my school drug plan which is a generic meds plan. And it's a lot cheaper than the epi-pen...at cost it is $36.00 I think Canada. Also, I don't know if anyone else is aware that you can also get an epinephrine inhaler called Bronkaid in Canada. Does anyone else use this? It too is covered by drug plans.

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By Kathryn on Fri, 02-18-00, 16:34

Hi the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties which is the "drug bible" of Canadian doctors and pharmacists states that the Bronkaid Mistometer is indicated for temporary relief of acute paroxysms of bronchial asthma. According to a pharmacist I just checked with it is not a substitute for an epi-pen or ana-kit. I thought you might like this information. If you want to read more about it then ask at your doctor's office, your pharmacy or your local public library. Take care.

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By scywong on Fri, 02-18-00, 22:26

HI: I use both the Ana-kit and the Bronkaid. For mild reactions I like Bronkaid cause it works faster cause the main problem is my swollen throat and it hits the problem right away. I would never substitute Bronkaid for my Ana-kit but, I just find it helps relieve the symptoms. It is much easier to use the Bronkaid and give myself a few more minutes to get to my Ana-kit. I was just wondering if anyone else uses it or something similar!

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By CVB in CA on Fri, 02-18-00, 22:47

In my office, there is a multiallergic coworker who always uses this and does not have an epi pen at all. He is from Hong Kong originally, and his most severe reactions have been from peanuts. He was very surprised to see my son's epi pens when I showed then to him. He has so many meds I always assumed he had them! He is very allergic and finds the inhaler the most immediate effective relief, followed by some pills which seem to be steroids. His only food allergy is peanuts, but has MANY enviormental allergies. The peanut seems to put him right into athsma attack so he goes for the inhaler. He has told me his most serious incident was when someone "he thought was his friend" gave him something with peanuts in it as a schoolchild. He could have died but his school was close to the hospital and the ambulance was there in time to admister oxygen- he knows they shot him full of "something" but never knew what. He sees his allergist very frequently so I assume this is the best regime for him.

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