Epipen

Posted on: Thu, 05/27/1999 - 7:22am
Sue B's picture
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Joined: 04/15/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Fri, 05/28/1999 - 12:49am
Patsmom's picture
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Joined: 05/17/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Mon, 05/31/1999 - 6:49am
Rhonda's picture
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Joined: 04/21/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 05/31/1999 - 8:58am
Sue B's picture
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Joined: 04/15/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/1999 - 7:26pm
justinsmom's picture
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Joined: 04/10/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/1999 - 10:21pm
Sue B's picture
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Joined: 04/15/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/1999 - 11:29pm
SteveW's picture
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Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Thu, 06/03/1999 - 6:09am
justinsmom's picture
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Joined: 04/10/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Thu, 06/03/1999 - 6:12am
justinsmom's picture
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Joined: 04/10/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Thu, 06/03/1999 - 11:37pm
Sue B's picture
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Joined: 04/15/1999 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Fri, 06/04/1999 - 12:03am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

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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