The price of EpiPens? - Peanut Allergy Information

The price of EpiPens?

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I am just curious about what everyone else is paying for an Epipen? I have read several times on this board that people have "lots" of extras just in case. Where I live in Canada they cost around $80.00. With a relatively short shelf life,this is a lot of money! I never hear anyone mention Ana-Kits. Does anyone have those? They are a needle which is pre-loaded with Epinephrine. They are quite a bit cheaper but a little more fiddley. Its just until reading some of the messages (I think some were on the old discussion board), I had never thought to give the preschool teacher (or anyone else) and extra one for back up in case one didn't work properly.I wonder if this happens often? I am so glad to have this web-site to refer to, because nobody else (even the doctors!) can really relate unless they've "been there" !

------------------ Colleen

On Feb 8, 1999

Colleen,

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the cost as I have a prescription card so I pay $10.00 for each one. It would not surprise me a bit that they could be $80. Regarding the Ana-Kit, when Epi-Pen had their big recall last year, I asked my doctor to prescribed me an Ana-Kit for the interim time as I waited for my Epi-Pen kit. They REALLY did not want to do it. For some reason they do not like the Ana-Kit. Couldn't tell you why, though. Christine

On Feb 8, 1999

Colleen, Last time we got an Epi-pen JR it was $50.00 (we pay 1/2 so it was $25 for us). I have heard that the adult dose is $100. It is a lot of money and I get so upset when I get one and it expires in less than a year.We had to get an anakit when the pens were recalled last year. Luckily we had one that was O.K. Our daycare is nervous enough about the epi-pen. I hate to think about explaining the anakit to them. We have one Epi-pen at daycare but we also leave our fanny pack with a full set of meds in my son's backpack in case they ever need a back up. Once he goes to public school I think I will make sure they have two of their own. I try to just be glad when we have to discard expired pens because that means we haven't had to use them!

------------------ Valerie

On Feb 8, 1999

The Ana kit cost us $36.00 in Ontario and the Epi Jr was $70.00. Fortunately my husbands medical plan covered them. I had two pens but now have 4 after the only two I owned were left in the car overnight to freeze. Keep your old ones to practise with. I was surprised to see that the needle wasn't very big. Easy to use.

On Feb 8, 1999

Colleen, I too live in Canada - Calgary. I agree the Epi is expensive, but we are fortunate in that our extended health care covers our Epipens. I realized how important it is to have a "back up Epi" when the one Epipen I had was recalled after I had it for several months! We had camped in the mountains and that really scared me to think something could have gone terribly wrong if all we had was the defective Epi. Also, if you administer the Epi too early a subsequent reaction can occur quickly before emergency services arrives or you can get your child to hospital. Have you checked into your provincial health care coverages? Maybe your health services branch may have suggestions on any supplements available. I sure think Epipens should be covered 100% for everyone everywhere!!!

On Feb 8, 1999

Remember that an epi-pen is good for 10-15 mins after initial ijection. It wise to have an extra one on hand for every 15 mins that you are away from the hospital. Epi-pens are expensive I paid $72.00 per pen (we have 2). Unless used, you would only have to replace them, when they expire. Carol

On Feb 9, 1999

I agree that Epi's are expensive the last one I bought was 68.00cdn. My son's life is worth it!

On Feb 9, 1999

Thanks everyone for all your input about Epipens/Anakits. I have decided that although Anakits are considerably cheaper, in an emergency Epipens are the way to go. As my husband and I are self-employed with no extended health coverage, we need to pay 100% of all our prescriptions. I am going to check out our provincial health plan to check and see if there is any way that I am not aware of that we can get back some of the costs. Of course our son's life is worth any amount we would have to pay, but since money doesn't grow on trees, we'll take any help we can get! I know we will be needing to stock up on more Epis since he will be starting school in September too. Thanks for your help!

------------------ Colleen

On Feb 10, 1999

Colleen,

In Connecticut, epi-pens cost about $40.00 but considering the exchange rate between canada and the US that doesn't sound too far off. We have one kept at school, one at Grandma's house and two that travel with our son everywhere except school.

Clara,

We also had two epi-pens freeze in the car. Our Pharmacist informed us that one or two freezes would not harm them. Have you been told different? As far as practicing, we have an epi-pen trainer that cost $5.00 from FAN. We use it often to train everyone that our son spends any amount of time with. I wouldn't recomend actually practicing on a person with a real pen the way you can with the trainer. Janet

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On Feb 13, 1999

Our Epi-pens cost $40/each here in Pittsburgh PA. We keep two at school, one travels with him, and one at home. I wish I knew what insurance plan covers this!! I refuse an Epi-pen replacement that has less than one year until expiration. I've been handed one that expires in three months!

On Feb 13, 1999

Our previous insurance was an HMO here in Florida and the epi-pen was covered at 100%. We paid nothing for it as long as we got them at an HMO pharmacy. (We were allowed 2 epi-pens at a time so I would have his allergist write a prescription and his pediatrician write one so we could have 4 at one time). This was under my medical insurance. Now that I no longer work outside the house, we are now covered under my husband's insurance. Luckily, my son's epi-pens don't expire until January 2000. I will probably be in for a rude awakening with our new insurance. I was spoiled with my HMO! No complaints!

On Feb 25, 1999

I consider myself lucky after reading all the above posts. I belong to an HMO and the cost for my epi-pen prescription is $15, no matter how many pens I get at a time. I usually get 6 (1 for home, 1 for my pocketbook, 2 for preschool, and 2 for grandma's house). When I am going to get another precription, I call the pharmacist ahead of time and ask him to check the expiration dates. I, too, won't take pens unless they are good for at least a year. I do the same thing when I buy Benadryl - I look at every box in the store, and sometimes go to several stores before buying some.

On Mar 6, 1999

Hi. I just wanted to reinforce those of you who already know the wisdom of having two Epipens with you or your child at all times. I have had to use two when my little sister has a severe anaphylactic reaction effecting her respiratory system, and we were waiting for the paramedics to arrive. I hate to tink what might have happened if I hadn't had two available.

Also, I personally like the Epipen better than the Ana kit. Again, unfortunately this is from first hand experience. In an emergency, the Epipen is so much easier to use. The Anakit syringe requires more careful preparation in order to administer it, and I have seen some of the contents ejected from the needle, in an emergency, instead of into the allergic individual. Whichever product you have, be sure you or anyone taking care of your child, are very well versed in exactly hw to administer it. I hope this is useful sharing of information. We need to take care of each other.

------------------

On Mar 6, 1999

Elizabeth, thanks for the reminder.

When the Epi-Pens were recalled last year, we were given the Anaphylaxis Emergency Kit (thank goodness we never had to use it) until the new batch of Epi-Pens came in. The kit was overwhelming to me when I opened it up to see what it looked like. To me, the Epi is much less intimidating.

On Mar 7, 1999

Our HMO also covered the jr pens which are normally $35 each. They gave us 2 for our copay of $8. I feel luck also - I have a sister who carries an epi for bee allergy & her insurance didn't cover them and hers were $50 each.

I think it is insane that insurance companies don't cover them. This is life & death. They cover Viagra though - what is wrong with this country!

On Mar 12, 1999

This year, our HMO only will cover 1 epi-pen. Whoever makes these stupid rules CANT have any knowledge about allergies! I plan a fight about this one..I will need alot of luck!

On Mar 12, 1999

Or a lot of help. Which HMO do you have?

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

On Mar 13, 1999

I carry two epi-pens with me at all times and i have given the school one. I got my pens at different times (I bought one in January 1998 before I knew we should be carrying two or more) Then I bought two more when my son started school. I haven't had to replace the first one yet but, I do intend on buying two more now and then in the fall I will buy two more for the school. The first 3 we paid out of pocket and they cost us 80 each cdn. Now my husband is on a medical plan for his work so we hope the rest will be paid for through his company. I two wish that they weren't so expensive because it just one more strain on our lives that we could do without. I know that in Ontario there is a government program called Trillium that does cover people who don't have any other drug plans I didn't look into it but I could get the number for anyone who wants it. Carolyn

On Mar 13, 1999

As a side note to the cost of epi-pens, I was talking to my OB/GYN about how expensive these things are, he said he couldn't understand this because epinephrine is cheap! Maybe the manufacturer is getting to us also! Thye do seem to have a corner on the market.

On Mar 14, 1999

dhumphries- You make a good point about the cost. Pharmaceutical companies that don't have competition can charge just about whatever they want. I used to be a sales rep for a major pharmaceutical company and all drugs have only a certain amount of time before their patent expires and then other companies can make the same product. I wonder how much longer until the epi-pens go off-patent. Once there is competition, the price will surely go down. Bought another Epi-Jr. the other day and without any insurance help it was $38. Unfortunately, I didn't check the expiration date before I paid for it and when I got home I realized it was 12/99. I took it back today but they all had that date, so instead of being without an extra I kept it. But I will call ahead next time to check the dates before I even go! Lisa M

On Mar 14, 1999

Hi Lisa,

Evidently, your insurance doesn't pay for the epipen either. My allergist says I should call and "raise hell with them" (in his words). I'm just wondering what the best approach would be with the insurance company, although I doubt anything I would say would make a difference.

Stay Safe.

On Feb 14, 2000

Hi,

I also posted this under the subject "EpiPen" so you may have already seen this.

Let me start by saying I THINK I HAVE THIS UNDER CONTROL.

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

On Feb 15, 2000

Hi all...we are in Canada also Our EpiPen Jr. is $61 and we insist that it have an expiration date of at least a year (the pharmacist has been great about this). I inquired at the pharmacy about coverage and was told that in Canada EpiPens are 100% covered under Medicare. So if you do not have a health plan the government will supply them for you. We have 6 pens at all times. We need 3 to get to the nearest hospital when we visit my in-laws. Daycare has two. We carry the pens for my daughter, she is 3 and not ready for the responsibility yet. But we do have her wearing her fanny pack with the EpiPen trainer in it. I asked my doc if we should have an Anakit and he said no, that the epinephren was not pre measured. I had thought it was, but I definately do not want to have to measure it out when time is of the essence, so we stick to the Epipens. Stay safe all...

On Feb 15, 2000

THE OLD EPI PENS YOU MIGHT HAVE ON HAND ARE GOOD FOR PRACTICE, BUT NEVER USE AN EXPIRED PEN FOR A REACTION, THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL HOW MUCH EPI ACTUALLY WAS INJECTED AS ACTIVE, AND WHEN YOU (OR THE PARAMEDICS) INJECT THE NEXT DOSE, HE MIGHT GET TOO MUCH IN HIS SYSTEM, WHICH WOULD BE BAD ALSO. MY SONS SCHOOL HEALTH TECH DISCOVERED THAT I LEFT HER AN EXPIRED PEN AND WAS QUICK TO TELL ME, SHES REALLY ON THE BALL!

On Feb 16, 2000

When I picked up my son's new EpiPen, there was an insert in the box from [i]Dey[/i] advising they have an [b]EpiPen Replacement Reminder Program[/b] whereby they will notify you by mail when it is time to contact your physician for a new prescription to replace your current EpiPen Jr.

Also listed on the form you complete for this service is a place to check off for FREE info about FAN; latex allergy info and/or info about Medic Alert membership.

Stay Safe.

On Feb 16, 2000

Hello

I just bought two new epipens today - my daughter is too big for the jr so they are adult size. I got them at Safeway in Calgary, Canada and the cost was $80.94. My insurance (manulife) paid $72.85. The expiry dates I got were March 2001 and October 2001.

Just thought I would throw in my two cents' worth!

Deb

by the way, if you want to talk about expensive meds, my son's Flovent for his asthma costs $45 each and lasts only a month!

[This message has been edited by DebO (edited February 16, 2000).]

On Feb 16, 2000

The cost of epi-pens here in Ottawa is roughly $80.00 each of which we pay $16.00. I just wonder what people without a health plan do??

Also I agree with the comment on Flo-Vent, it is incredibly expensive. When it was first prescrived for our daughter, we had to fight our insurance company as they initially refused to cover the cost, our ped. had to write them a letter stating that she HAD to have the drug and that there was NO generic version available. I never ran into that with the Epi-Pens.

Katiee

On Feb 28, 2000

Hi Colleen I too live in canada. We pay $72.00 for ours but we get 80% back with our health plan. We bought ours 2 yrs ago and expire next month. The ones before expired after 6 months. It pretty much depends on when the new batch comes out.

On Mar 3, 2000

Janet Laflamme, be careful. I would call the company that manufactures your Epi-pens to see if a freeze or extreme heat for that matter will harm your pen. I am under the impression they are heat and cold sensitive, as well as light sensitive. I would be leary of any pharmist that says freezing will not affect medications effectiveness. It is even recommended you check your Epi-pen regularly for cloudiness.

On Mar 5, 2000

Here is a link to another thread on this subject. I did a search on "mechanism" and found this.

Here are two of the posts on this thread and then a link to the thread.

>>>> tamisly Member

Posts: 3 Registered: Dec 1999 posted January 05, 2000 08:48 PM

I was told by my allergist that when the pen gets to cold the needle will not eject. Only heat makes the liquid discolor. Hope this helps.

IP: Logged rilira Member

Posts: 24 Registered: Nov 1999 posted January 05, 2000 08:51 PM

I was told the same thing. Cold makes the mechanism in the pen malfunction.What can happen is the needle will not pop out. I also was told only heat will discolor the medication. [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000364.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/000364.html[/url]

------------------ Stay Safe,

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

On Mar 6, 2000

I had my son's allergist call in a perscription for 2 epi-pen jr.'s with 3 refills. The pharmacy filled the perscription with 2 pens and only charged me 1 co-pay. I called in another refill this morning (for 2 more)and was told that I would again only have 1 co-pay. I fully expected to pay 2 co-pays (1 for each pen) so the savings was a big surprise!

On Mar 21, 2000

At my old job, we had a Kaiser-Permanente HMO plan. Four Epi-pens cost only a $5 co-pay. It may have been $5/pen, I can't remember. Nonetheless, it was cheap. At my new job, which is a PPO with Principal Life, epi-pens are not covered under my drug plan because they are considered "injectables." I'm trying to fight it, but I think my chances of winning against a big insurance company are pretty slim. Now, at $50/pen, I just paid $200 for four of them. At least the pharmacist was helpful in finding pens with the longest expiration date.

On Apr 4, 2001

Bringing this up again as EpiPens are being discussed.

[This message has been edited by Sue (edited April 04, 2001).]

On Apr 4, 2001

When I had my son's Epi-pen prescriptions re-filled in September, they were $89.00 each. I am covered by a health plan so I don't have to pay this amount. Also, please note that someone else has mentioned on this board that you don't, in fact, require a prescription for an Epi-pen in Canada. I only have the one pharmacy to choose from in the small town I live in, so it's now as though I can shop around and compare prices. I find that mine usually have a shelf life of about 18 months.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Apr 5, 2001

I just spoke to the pharmacy, and was told that they have no control over the expiration dates. I told them the can send them back or get credit, they denied that fact. Then I called my insurance company to see what I could get. I was told I could only get one a month. That is not right. So for a 30 dollar co-pay I can get on epipen a month. I was told I can do the mail order and get three for 60 dollars, but it will take at least a month to get. I do have some already, but have to do this immediately to get all 6 before august for my daughter to attend school. I now need to find out if the school can be responsible for any of them they need. According to some others, the schools can be made to pay to make school accessable to children under the 504 plan. So I have to find out if they can be responsible for some of this since I will have to do this every year. I look forward to hear your ideas. Thank you Cindy

On Feb 13, 2002

This is the 1st time I've had to fill a script for Epi Jr's. Cost for 2 pens $98 US with a $20 copay. The ped called in the script and that was the only phone # I had handy. I will be looking for a cheaper pharmacy.

On Feb 13, 2002

I went to fill my son's epi jr prescription last month, the ped has prescribed two with 4 refills, but the pharmacy told me that the insurance would only pay for one, but if I came back in a couple of days I could probably get the other one. Well I went back this weekend and when I went to pick it up they told me that I could get it but it was $60. the insurance company would only fill one per every 365. I (and the pharmacist) was outraged! This is Tenncare by the way, Tennessee's version of medicare. I wonder if there is anything I can do to appeal. Have any of you had any luck?

On Feb 14, 2002

I just bought two twin packs for $101 each. I was originally quoted $80 but apparently Dey just put the price up since the last time they got a twin pack? Anyhow, the price was better than CVS who quoted me $130 for a twinpack.

On Feb 15, 2002

Hi there,

In Australia the pharmacy cost price for a single epipen is over one hundred dollars add on their profit etc and the recommended retail price is $135.00 for a single pen. Our health insurance covers only $20.00. But at least I was lucky to get 13 months on the expiry date.

On Feb 17, 2002

With our previous insurance (HealthNet HMO) the epi's were covered as a self-injectible, like insulin, and we didn't have a copay.

Now we have Aetna EPO, and I think it's a $15 copay.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (4) and Joey (2)

On Feb 18, 2002

My kids have the 'step-up' from Medicaid. We pay $15 a year to get them both covered on insurance. For a 2-pen prescription of EpipenJrs we pay $2.

As for competition....Competition is on the way. My husband and I were contacted last year by a small company here in Texas who were/are developing an automatic injection device. They wanted us to look it over and make any suggestions/comments. We did, and since then have heard that nearly every one of our suggestions was implemented. Last I knew, they were (w/ the help of the FDA) trying to get a 'rush' put on the testing, so that they could bring this product out to the market. The way it is designed (unless they've changed it again since we last spoke w/ them), it will be usable for not only epinephrine, but other medications that a patient self-injects, such as insulin. The best part? The cost will be MUCH more reasonable!

On Feb 20, 2002

I had no insurance for the last epi-pen purchase. $118.00 each. Ouch!

On Feb 20, 2002

We don't have to pay for our epi pens - are they expensive over there?

On Feb 23, 2002

I'm new to this site and I have found everything here very helpful. I am from Canada also and our daughters epipen cost $85.00 which was covered 100% by insurance. Thanks for the info Carol, we live 25 mins from the nearest hospital and we only had a prescription for 1 epipen. Guess I'll have to get another, didn't realize that they were only good for that short of a time. Thanks

On Feb 24, 2002

We are spoiled with my husband's (through his work) insurance (which is excellent) because they pay 100% of everything. No co-pay, nothing comes out of our pocket.

On Feb 24, 2002

Tammie-Chloes Mum

I'm in Australia too but get epipen Jr's for about $75 each. Pharmacy Direct, an on-line campany, sells them for about $72 each plus postage but you have to send them a prescription. Much cheaper than you are currently paying.

I don't understand why something like this isn't covered under Medicare. Nick has a Health Care Card because of his allergies which means we only pay $3.50 for all of his prescriptions but it doesn't cover epipens. Perhaps because they don't need a prescription.

I agree with whoever said epinephrine/adrenaline is a cheap drug. It cost about $10 for 5 ampoules of adrenaline and syringes before Nick was big enough for the epipen Jr. Most of the cost must be in the injecting device, not to mention profit.

By jordan_ballingash on Nov 5, 2011

I recently had a major allergic reaction to something, e.r didn't even know what it was... After 3 shots and an i.v and an ambulance ride later.... still nothing. all they know is I'm allergic to something. Tonight, i took my prescriptions to get them filled from the hospital, they prescribed prednisone and the epi pens in case this should ever happen again as severe. Without insurance, the epi pens cost upwards of 200 bucks. I was shocked. Something i have to have, and it cost this much is ridiculous. I wish i could afford medical insurance so it wasnt so expensive but on a minimum wage job, its difficult!

By PeanutFreeZone on Jan 31, 2012

Try calling different places... I found Wal-Mart had them cheaper (advertised in the summer) than the grocery store pharmacy. If you are in the US, try contacting the United Way, they have a 211 line you can dial in some place. UW often has resources they can tell you that help with meds, rents, food, etc. Hope that helps!

By kyasmom on Jan 31, 2012

Hi all, I found out Christmas day, I'm allergic to nuts. Since I was eating mixed nuts when the reaction happened, I can't have any anymore. And I'm scared to death to eat anything I don't make myself. My problem now is, I got the script for the Epi, but it's 250.00 at my Pharmacy. I'm on Disability and no Insurance. The Pharmacy can't give me just 1 dose. It's extremely disturbing to me that something so lifesaving, is so expensive! I had no idea. Anyway, now that I've spilled my guts. I hope the powers that be, read this and all the others, and realize our lives are being held captive by extreme expense and diseases we didn't ask for in the first place.

By nancy kelly on Aug 8, 2012

I have BC/BS and it still costs me $250.00!!!!!

By jmartinson on Sep 26, 2014

I belong to Group Health in Washington State and was in today for a checkup. I'm a beekeeper so I like to keep an epiPen on site. For a package of two they wanted to charge $350, Our health care system is broken. Has anyone been to Mexico for these?

By itchydog on Jul 12, 2015

Been making my own "Ana-Kits" for years. (bee sting allergy) Still using the old "2000 era" Ana-kit case - clipped out some plastic - for the syringes to fit. You can get a plastic/metal case to suit also. Purchased 1 ml epinephrine ampoules from the drug store (you have to call around for availability) for what used to be, ..a few bucks each. Never needed a prescription, BTW. The price has gone up over the years from ~$2.50 per 1 ml ampoule to $8. Then today, I had to buy a box of 10 for $29! Good deal, in the long run, but would never use that much before the expiry date..(give some way perhaps?) Anyway, I always put 2 ampoules, two 100 unit diabetes syringes, alcohol wipes and a few Benadryl in the case. Be warned!..You DO have to know how to snap the top off the ampoule, draw up the epi & do a sub-cutaneous injection though! My 2 cents anyway...

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