04 Jul Why is EpiPen So Expensive?
For many Americans, a simple peanut or bee sting can lead to a fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. However, for most cases the symptoms can be easily treated using a shot of the epinephrine auto-injector in the leg.
Unfortunately, EpiPen which is one of the most popular auto-injectors consisting of two auto-injectors costs around $630. This makes it unaffordable to many people that need it. The generic version of epinephrine is not any better even at half the price of the drug. But, the good news is that there are some other alternatives such as the Good Rx.
Why is EpiPen Expensive in the first Place?
Just about everyone has heard of the EpiPen pricing controversy from August 2016 in which many patients had ordered EpiPen Jr. or the EpiPen and had experienced at the pharmacy sticker shock. Patients that were paying by cash for the EpiPen were shocked to see their bill which consisted of whooping $600 and more for just a pack of two auto-injectors. It is during that time that it was released that Mylan had increased the price of EpiPen Jr. and EpiPen by about 400% during the period of 2011 to 2016.
Now, a better question would be how Mylan could do such a thing. Well, it is all due to the fact that the market belongs to them. They are the only auto-injector as the main competitor had discontinued in 2012 which allowed the EpiPen brand to become the only solution available for treating anaphylaxis. As competitors were out, Mylan was able to easily raise the cost of EpiPen by more than 4 times without experiencing any decreases in demand.
However, the outcry was loud and clear as soon as the news broke out of the large price hike. All of the top news outlets picked up the story and Mylan was hit with many lawsuits which sparked a nationwide discussion of drug prices. It is then that Mylan released the authorized generic version of the EpiPen, the epinephrine in order to ease the public outcry. Finally, it is due to public outrage that manufacturers had to listen and respond as it seems.
So how much does the generic EpiPen cost?
The truth is that the prices for the EpiPen are still high. It is after the outcry that Teva Pharmaceuticals announced that an EpiPen generic of their own would be released for a large discount. By the end of last year, Teva’s generic came out in the market. But, despite the release, prices haven’t decreased much.
At an average, cash prices for just a pack of two of the generic epinephrine auto-injectors costs around $350 which is why it is important to use an EpiPen coupon as it is still not as affordable for most Americans.
The best way for you to save on EpiPen is by using insurance for the generic epinephrine as it would be covered by majority of the insurance plans. Therefore, make sure to ask your insurance company.