Any severe allergy sufferer will tell you they make a habit of keeping their EpiPen on them at all times, for good reason. Should an emergency happen, the auto-injector contains epinephrine that works to reduce life-threatening symptoms.
“The medication constricts blood vessels to increase blood pressure and releases muscles in the lungs which helps breathing and reduces wheezing,” explains Jennifer Meyers, pharmacist at the ProMedica Pharmacy Counter. “It also increases heart rate and can help with hives and swelling that can occur in the face and lips.”
In recent news, the price of the life-saving drug has jumped hundreds of dollars making it unaffordable for many families, leaving them to question what they can do.
“We’ve had patients come in and because they have a high deductible, until they reach that deductible they are now responsible for a higher co-pay,” says Meyers. “Parents have concerns with school starting back up and they have a child with a peanut allergy sitting at lunch with someone who has a peanut butter sandwich. What are they going to do?”
Meyers states that at this time, there is a generic option available for Adrenaclick from Lineage Therapeutics. “It’s been on the market, but there is a shortage so it’s harder to obtain. The manufacturer can’t keep up with the supply.”
According to Meyers, Mylan, the company that manufacturers the EpiPen, is coming out with their own generic version and has already come out with a coupon card that decreases the cost by $300.
Patient assistance programs are available through the manufacturer. “If there are financial issues and a patient qualifies, they may be able to get this medication at a reduced cost from the manufacturer, but there are certain qualifications they would have to meet.” Patients can learn more about these programs on Mylan’s website.
Meyers recommends that patients speak with their physician or pharmacist about their allergy treatment options or about financial assistance.