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How to Get Cheaper EpiPen Alternative

How to Get Cheaper EpiPen Alternative

(Joe Readle/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 September 2016 03:40 PM

Outraged over EpiPen’s $600 price tag? Get in line. Patient advocates, consumer activists, the American Medical Association and even members of Congress have railed against the product’s maker, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, for increasing the device’s price 500 percent since 2007.

"We are concerned that these drastic price increases could have a serious effect on the health and well-being of every day Americans," said U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Claire McCaskill of the Senate Special Aging Committee, in a letter to Mylan, requesting an explanation for the price hike.

While the debate rages, you should know that cheaper alternatives are now available for the EpiPen — an auto-injector syringe filled with epinephrine that treats allergic reactions so severe that some people can’t breathe, a condition known as anaphylaxis.
Here’s a primer.

Generic Adrenaclick. Consumer Reports notes that the generic Adrenaclick, also referred to as an "epinephrine auto-injector," sells for as low as $140 at Walmart or $205 at Rite-Aid, with a coupon from GoodRx.com.

Pharmacists in some states — including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Vermont, and Washington can fill an EpiPen prescription with Adrenaclick — without getting a new prescription from their doctors. But other states, you can still get the generic alternative by asking your physician to write a prescription for an "epinephrine auto-injector" or "generic Adrenaclick."

Make your own shot. EpiPen and Adrenaclick are automated epinephrine-injecting devices, but a cheaper alternative to keep syringes and epinephrine on hand for emergencies. A three-month supply of syringes and the drug costs about $20, according to price lists.

But if you go this route, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist about how to use one and the proper dosing. You should also know that Adamis Pharmaceuticals is developing a pre-filled syringe system for injecting epinephrine that deliver proper dosage through manual syringes.

Others in the works. According to the Allergy Advocacy Association, several other other EpiPen alternatives — the credit card-shaped Adrenacard and a generic auto-injecting system from Teva Pharmaceuticals — are in the works and could hit the market in 2017.

The Massachusetts-based Windgap Medical is also reportedly seeking Food and Druga Administration approval for its EpiPen alternative, called Abiliject. Unlike EpiPen, which must be replaced every 12 to 18 months, Abiliject has a shelf life of several years, and may be more cost-effective for families.

Discount coupons. You should also know that, in response to the outrage over its EpiPen pricing, Mylan has created a coupon savings program so that some customers can get discounts of $300 on each EpiPen two-pack.

For cash-paying customers with high deductibles, the discount cuts costs by roughly 50 percent, experts say. But the coupon doesn’t apply to all customers.

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Outraged over EpiPen's $600 price tag? Here are some cheaper alternatives to consider.
epipen, cheaper, alternative
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 03:40 PM
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