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Epipen sticker shock

My epipen has expired so I went to the pharmacy to have it refilled. Although my insurance doesn't cover prescriptions, I felt confident that it would not break the bank. After all, I had a coupon for "Up to 90% off."

WITH THE COUPON, my cost would be $401!!!!!!!!! Without the coupon it would be $501.

Luckily I am 64 years old and in the 60+ years that I've been Peanut Allergic, I have never had an anaphylactic reaction. So I am going to play allergy roulette and not spend the money.

Am I the only one having this problem? How do you afford your epipens?

By Kiwi Mum on Fri, 09-04-15, 20:39

I live in New Zealand, but am looking to relocate to the US. I am really shocked to hear that Epipens are so expensive there and can't understand why they are. Epipens here retail for NZD130 (around USD100) and I believe they are produced in the Northern Hemisphere, so should cost less there?

In New Zealand there is a campaign to have them fully funded. I believe they are already fully funded in Australia. Some people order Epipens from Asset Chemist in the UK, which costs even less - you can email a prescription to them for supply. I am not sure if they will supply to the US, but might be worth a group of people investigating further?

It is really sad to see that you are having to pay so much money for a life saving device - someone is majorly clipping the ticket if you are having to pay $400-$500. It might be time to try and force a change in regard to how these are accessed and the cost of them, because someone is making a huge profit off these at the expense of human life.

Following is an article from last year in regard to the petition to the government for funding of Epipens - http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/9601643/Call-for-Pharmac-to-fund-lifesaver

By Saralinda on Wed, 09-02-15, 04:04

Original poster here.

I am still 8 months away from medicare and my insurance does not cover prescriptions.

That zero pay coupon is only good if your have a reasonable copay: otherwise, it is limited to $100 off a $500 product.

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By Mrsdocrse on Tue, 09-01-15, 23:26

I am surprised that your insurance doesn't cover any of it. Are you on Medicare? What state are you in? I don't have Avi_Que for that same reason.

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By vinucube on Sun, 08-30-15, 17:39

There are alternatives like Auvi-Q. https://www.auvi-q.com/

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By PeanutAllergy.com on Sat, 08-29-15, 16:05

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Thank you for reaching out to our community with your question! Obtaining the proper treatment in case of a reaction is something every peanut allergic person must face.

For people with anaphylaxis, epinephrine is the only treatment proven to halt a reaction - you can read more about this here. It’s important to have two epinephrine injectors available to you at all times for a number of reasons. Sometimes, injectors may not function properly, or a single dose of epinephrine may not be enough to treat it, or you may experience biphasic anaphylaxis and need the second one for your later reaction.

There are a few important things to remember when purchasing an injector. Check with the pharmacist to ensure you know how to use it correctly if it is a new brand. Here is some general information about how to use an epipen properly. Also, you should only buy an injector if it has at least a year left on its expiration date, as it is not safe to rely on expired epinephrine.

It’s no secret that epinephrine injectors can be expensive - and as you can see here, the price has even been rising in past years. You should always shop around for health insurance that accommodates your peanut allergy needs as much as possible. Not everyone is lucky enough to have insurance that covers epinephrine injectors, and our community discusses this issue in this community post.

Still, there are a few ways to lower your PA supplies costs on your own. You may want to check your state’s prescription assistance program to see if you qualify for financial help. Try calling multiple local pharmacies to see which has the cheapest epinephrine. You could also take a cue from Washington state and switch brands to a more time and cost-efficient brand. See that news story here.

A way to save money on other peanut allergy-related costs is to make things yourself. You can make your own peanut butter alternatives that will lower your grocery bill - see our favorite homemade sunflower seed butter recipe here. You can DIY medical alert cards with this tutorial.

We asked our Facebook community for their responses, and you can see them here.

We hope you have found this response constructive, and we wish you the best!

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By chrystlelamb on Tue, 08-18-15, 16:33

If you go to Epi-Pen website they often have an offer to cover anything your insurance doesn't pay.

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By Lameln on Tue, 08-18-15, 16:15

Go to epipen.com to get a $0 copay epi pen card.

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