Epipen cost on the rise

HATTIESBURG, Miss (WHLT) – Some shop the aisle for allergy medicine when faced with an itch, while others require a different option.

The Epipen, at times, considered a life saver. But it comes at a cost.

Kim Rodgers, Owner and Pharmacist of Kim Family Pharmacy, says the price tag has been on the rise for years, “Yeah, used to be 100-150 dollars but now the cost has gone up to now 750 dollars.”

That’s only at two shots a box. Rodgers says the cost has been on the upswing for about ten years; even the generic version is pricey, “Still approximately $600 at cost,” added Rodgers.

While most companies pay for the pen that reverses an allergy shock, the obvious issue is when someone doesn’t have insurance or the Epipen just isn’t covered. However, there is a savings card, “But the coupon says on the front, co-pay as little as zero.”

The Epipen savings card is intended to reduce the expense, but it only covers a certain amount, so consumers must read the fine print. The coupon knocks off a maximum of $100 for a two-pack EpiPen carton, according to Rodger.

However, because these quick fixes have a shelf life of a year, they’re constantly restocking.

“You might not use that pen, but once that expiration date goes; the drug will be less than 90 percent effective. So, when you’re that severely allergic to say, bee stings, ant bites, peanuts, whatever; you don’t want a pen that’s less than 90 percent effective when you go into shock,” added Rodgers.

Rodgers says the convenience has always been expensive but one that some can’t go without.

“You’re getting two pens, and you sit there and look at the cost and shake your head for $350 a pen. But, for what they do, it’s important to have on hand a pen that’s not out of date.”

Learn more about the EpiPen and if you qualify for savings here.

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