Author Topic: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!  (Read 11542 times)

mucchad

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Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« on: February 08, 2016, 04:23:07 PM »
Does anyone have a Epipen prescription? If so what are you doing to keep your costs low?

My kid has a prescription and every time I fill it, I end up paying more then $400. This is after my insurance and a coupon from the manufacturer.
It has a six month shelf life, so that makes it more then $1000 a year.
It is a single use injector, which means if we use it we have to spend even more.
I dont spend the full amount due to insurance and the coupon, but still thats a lot of money.

I have tried asking for generics, but there dont seem to be any options.
Help me find a solution to this ongoing expense.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 04:26:31 PM »
Have you looked at what kind of coverage for this you would get if you bought a different plan through an exchange?  Possibly the cost of said plan would be higher than the savings on the cost of the pen, but I'd still look at it.

What kind of insurance do you have? Is this high cost due to a high deductible?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 04:45:05 PM by iowajes »

warmastoast

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 04:30:34 PM »
you should shop around different insurance plans.

What about adrenaclick?
http://adrenaclick.com/

Goodrx.com  shows this to be much cheaper and as far as I can see it's the same medication.


Guava

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 05:30:59 PM »
Definitely check insurance options and even bring it up with your child's allergist to see if there is an alternative. I have never paid more than $50 for mine and I am pretty sure mine doesn't expire every six months (but I am bad at keeping up with getting a new one when it does expire).

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 05:35:26 PM »
See if you can buy it online from OptumRX... bulk/mail order is usually cheaper.

2Saving4Life

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 05:59:45 PM »
Why does it have a 6 month shelf life?  I just looked and all of mine have had an expiration date at least 13 months after the date the prescription was filled.  Like others, I've never paid more than $50 and mine was a twin pack. 

Maybe the kid version is different but I don't know why it would be. 

Looks like I need a refill, mine are all at least 2 years old. 

Goldielocks

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 06:13:26 PM »
Ask your insurance company what the generics are... They are only reimbursing at the generic rate, it appears, so they at least think there is a generic version out there.

Have you tried purchase from Canada?  I believe I saw $210 for two pen pack on the on line site...  should have at least a year until expiry.

At the very least, check the dates and hand them back to the pharmacist if less than a year on them.  Demand they order fresh stock, etc.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 11:08:19 PM by goldielocks »

Frugal Mama

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Dee18

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 07:04:56 PM »
I bought an Epipen that had an expiration date 15 months away. 

FIRE me

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 11:04:30 PM »
Does anyone have a Epipen prescription? If so what are you doing to keep your costs low?

My kid has a prescription and every time I fill it, I end up paying more then $400. This is after my insurance and a coupon from the manufacturer.
It has a six month shelf life, so that makes it more then $1000 a year.
It is a single use injector, which means if we use it we have to spend even more.
I dont spend the full amount due to insurance and the coupon, but still thats a lot of money.

I have tried asking for generics, but there dont seem to be any options.
Help me find a solution to this ongoing expense.

https://www.epipen.com/en/copay-offer

https://www.epipen.com/resources/paying-for-epipen
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 11:06:48 PM by FIRE me »

Larabeth

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 01:54:36 AM »
Does anyone have a Epipen prescription? If so what are you doing to keep your costs low?

My kid has a prescription and every time I fill it, I end up paying more then $400. This is after my insurance and a coupon from the manufacturer.
It has a six month shelf life, so that makes it more then $1000 a year.
It is a single use injector, which means if we use it we have to spend even more.
I dont spend the full amount due to insurance and the coupon, but still thats a lot of money.

I have tried asking for generics, but there dont seem to be any options.
Help me find a solution to this ongoing expense.

https://www.epipen.com/en/copay-offer

https://www.epipen.com/resources/paying-for-epipen

+1  It's the only way I could pay for my Epi pen in college...

elicoolio

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 10:17:24 AM »
I don't have much new to add to the conversation and I think you've gotten good advice, but I'd just like to say that I also have to buy an Epipen every year for my daughter and I do it gladly after having seen it reverse anaphylaxis when she had an accidental nut exposure.  It is unfortunate that it is so expensive, but it really is a lifesaver when you need it and for that I'll gladly pay.  I'd also do research before buying any of the other auto injectors as I've heard that their failure rates are higher (not something to rule out completely, but I'd just make sure you have all the facts before buying). 

Definitely ask your pharmacist nicely to look through the Epipens and give you one with the furthest expiration date they can find.  I've never had one that expired in less than 12 months.  It sounds like you are already using the coupon, but definitely keep checking back with Mylan in case they put out any more deals.  You may already have a good carrying case to keep the temperature of your Epipen stable - I like my Frio bag and feel like the temperature stability makes sure I'm able to get the full life of the Epipens. Even so, I never let them go past the expiration date as I've seen anaphylaxis and don't want to take any chances.  Others may feel more comfortable going past the date and I've heard that the military carries theirs out in the field at very high temperatures (and probably going way past the expiration date). 

mammothunder

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 10:29:21 AM »
Just wanted to add that I get a generic at my Sam's Club pharmacy for $50.  All of the other pharmacies in the area told me that they didn't have a generic and wanted to charge me about $400.  Also, you can definitely be nice to the pharmacist and ask for an epipen with an expiration date that is farther out.  I've done it.

Le Dérisoire

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 10:46:14 AM »
Here in Québec (Canada), Epipen, even the real brand, does not cost more than 150$. And that is the price you pay if you have no insurance at all. I Wonder why they sell if for 3 times that South of the border.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 10:55:03 AM »
Going backward, see if you have enough to deduct medical expenses from your taxes.

NextTime

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 11:08:43 AM »
Here in Québec (Canada), Epipen, even the real brand, does not cost more than 150$. And that is the price you pay if you have no insurance at all. I Wonder why they sell if for 3 times that South of the border.


Because our infinitely wise government allows them to charge whatever the hell they want.

The retail cost for my wife's Enbrel is around $10k every 3 months. Luckily, Enbrel subsidizes it so we pay $30.

mucchad

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2016, 11:11:09 AM »
Thanks for all the answers and suggestions.

@2Saving4Life and @Dee18 - I checked with the Pharmacy and got a Epipen that will expire in 12 months. I dont know why I didnt question it before :(. Will ask for something that has maximum expiry, going forward.

@Guava, @BackyarBQ and @goldielocks - I will check options to by online / from Canada. If I do buy from Canada, can I just drive over and buy from a drugstore with a US prescription and no insurance? Or do I have to do it online? If I buy online, I want to make sure I get a 12 month+ expiry.

@warmastoast - I will check with my pediatrician to see why adrenaclick wasnt prescribed. It seems to be quite similar and cheaper by $100+. I will also be researching the shelf life for it.

@Frugal Mama, @FIRE me and @Larabeth - I do use the $0 co-pay card. Thats was the manufacturer's coupon I was talking about. That knocks of $100. So I guess the manufacturer thinks the insurance should cover upto $500+.

@iowajes - My insurance is high deductible from my employer. I like having a HSA, so I will be sticking with it. Besides like you have mentioned, I dont think its worth paying extra premium each pay period just for a prescription (which I now know I will need to purchase just once a year).

@elicoolio - I know its a life saving medicine, though thankfully we havent had to use it. I didnt know about the storage needs, will read up on that.

@mammothunder - I will check my local Sams Club. Do I need membership to purchase at Sams Club?

I also checked if the pharmacy can sell it in a single pack, however I was told that its always sold in a dual pack. Has anyone purchased a single pack in the US?




green daisy

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2016, 11:12:19 AM »
Our current insurance covers the EpiPen with just a co-pay, but we were previously paying out of pocket.  I always asked the pharmacist to order it so it would have the longest expiration date possible.  The $0 copay coupon helps, but not much when it's so expensive.  I found that Sam's Club had the best price and we got a small additional discount because my husband has a business membership. 

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2016, 11:12:37 AM »
Because our infinitely wise government allows them to charge whatever the hell they want.

We (U.S. consumers) subsidize a lot of pharma R&D for the entire world though our high sticker prices.

green daisy

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2016, 11:19:35 AM »

I also checked if the pharmacy can sell it in a single pack, however I was told that its always sold in a dual pack. Has anyone purchased a single pack in the US?


It is only available in a twin pack.  A second dose may be necessary If the device malfunctions, symptoms don't resolve after the first dose, or symptoms return before EMS arrives. 

couponvan

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2016, 11:27:42 AM »
Thanks for all the answers and suggestions.

@iowajes - My insurance is high deductible from my employer. I like having a HSA, so I will be sticking with it. Besides like you have mentioned, I dont think its worth paying extra premium each pay period just for a prescription (which I now know I will need to purchase just once a year).

See if that $100 savings from the manufacturer coupon applies to the HDHP...It should.  The $10K coupon/copay assist with Enbrel one poster mentioned above is a sweet deal with a HDHP....Enbrel covers practically all of your deductible for the year.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2016, 11:30:28 AM »
@iowajes - My insurance is high deductible from my employer. I like having a HSA, so I will be sticking with it. Besides like you have mentioned, I dont think its worth paying extra premium each pay period just for a prescription (which I now know I will need to purchase just once a year).


Ah- so if you have a high deductible, that slightly explains what is going on.  You're trading coverage pre-deductible for (generally) lower premiums and access to an HSA.

Sorry the prescription is so expensive; but once you meet your deductible it would be covered, right? That's the draw back of HDHPs.

NextTime

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2016, 12:10:20 PM »
Because our infinitely wise government allows them to charge whatever the hell they want.

We (U.S. consumers) subsidize a lot of pharma R&D for the entire world though our high sticker prices.


Pretty much what I said. Their governments don't allow them to charge that much.

meg_shannon

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2016, 08:16:05 AM »
We recently got an AviQ instead of an EpiPen, and they had some really good coupons. Maybe you could ask your allergist if you could switch?


green daisy

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2016, 08:21:32 AM »
We recently got an AviQ instead of an EpiPen, and they had some really good coupons. Maybe you could ask your allergist if you could switch?

The Auvi-Q has been recalled.  You should contact your doctor for an EpiPen Rx as soon as possible.  See the Auvi-Q website for reimbursement information. 

https://www.auvi-q.com

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2016, 09:31:04 AM »
I am absolutely not suggesting you use a veterinary product, but as a cost comparison a 50 ml vial of 1:1000 epi from a livestock supply (Rx is required) is $26.79 in the US. The human dose appears to be 1 ml for allergic reactions, which is 54 cents a dose, not including needle/syringe. I kept this on hand when vaccinating horses. Just unreal the price difference, even with the pen device. I have seen this with other veterinary use items that are equivalent to human products.

Elliot

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2016, 09:50:35 AM »
I am absolutely not suggesting you use a veterinary product, but as a cost comparison a 50 ml vial of 1:1000 epi from a livestock supply (Rx is required) is $26.79 in the US. The human dose appears to be 1 ml for allergic reactions, which is 54 cents a dose, not including needle/syringe. I kept this on hand when vaccinating horses. Just unreal the price difference, even with the pen device. I have seen this with other veterinary use items that are equivalent to human products.

DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT 200 DOLLARS


EpiPen is about timely delivery to prevent serious complication including death. It's easy to use, even if you can't breathe. The DELIVERY is what's expensive about EpiPen, not the drug. Drawing up an appropriate dose takes time you don't have and is easily mismeasured, even by a professional.

meg_shannon

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2016, 11:43:24 AM »
We recently got an AviQ instead of an EpiPen, and they had some really good coupons. Maybe you could ask your allergist if you could switch?

The Auvi-Q has been recalled.  You should contact your doctor for an EpiPen Rx as soon as possible.  See the Auvi-Q website for reimbursement information. 

https://www.auvi-q.com

Some of the AuviQ's were recalled. I checked our lot numbers, two had to be tossed but the other two were fine.

Rosy

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2016, 08:43:54 PM »
Not sure how much your insurance kicks in, but I use an app called GoodRx. You input the name of the drug and it will give you a list of all the nearby pharmacies and their price for that prescription. Works anywhere in the US.
In my immediate area it showed Kmart to be the cheapest at $537.26 -
Sams Club was $564.46 and Walmart $554.28 and Walgreens $552.60 Target $550.22 and CVS $548.64.

The App showed alternatives: Epipen Jr, Adrenaclick and Auvi-Q - with Adrenaclick about $200 cheaper - maybe worth checking into.
It said these are all Catecholamines which are used to treat anaphylaxis. So my un-educated guess is that they should all work.
Also has general information about the meds.

Hope that helps - and btw the app is free. Or you can get a card in the mail too if you like or just look them up on line.

Pylortes

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2016, 04:47:51 PM »
There are a couple of companies developing a generic for the Epi-pen.  Teva submitted its version to the FDA for approval last year, but the FDA wanted more information/studies to confirm safety before granting approval.  Teva is in the process of responding and believes it may be able to get FDA approval sometime next year.  Obviously if a generic Epi-pen hits the market it will help a lot on costs.  Let's keep our fingers crossed!
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-good-news-for-mylan-tevas-generic-epipen-further-delayed-1001107194
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 04:49:56 PM by Pylortes »

btmarquis

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2016, 11:31:21 AM »

@Guava, @BackyarBQ and @goldielocks - I will check options to by online / from Canada. If I do buy from Canada, can I just drive over and buy from a drugstore with a US prescription and no insurance? Or do I have to do it online? If I buy online, I want to make sure I get a 12 month+ expiry.


You don't even need the prescription - epi's are OTC in Canada.  I too have a high deductible plan, and have friends buy epipens for me when they go home to visit family.  Over the counter, no scrip, and about ~CA$130 last time we did this (for an EpiPen Jr.).

Ninjakern

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2016, 02:22:19 PM »

Because our infinitely wise government allows them to charge whatever the hell they want.

We (U.S. consumers) subsidize a lot of pharma R&D for the entire world though our high sticker prices.

Also drug company profits. Gotta make those shareholders happy.

mucchad

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2016, 07:26:53 PM »

@Guava, @BackyarBQ and @goldielocks - I will check options to by online / from Canada. If I do buy from Canada, can I just drive over and buy from a drugstore with a US prescription and no insurance? Or do I have to do it online? If I buy online, I want to make sure I get a 12 month+ expiry.


You don't even need the prescription - epi's are OTC in Canada.  I too have a high deductible plan, and have friends buy epipens for me when they go home to visit family.  Over the counter, no scrip, and about ~CA$130 last time we did this (for an EpiPen Jr.).

Thanks @btmarquis!
Will definately drive over a month before my current epipen expires. The amount I save will more then pay for the gas and eating out for the trip.
 

Gin1984

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2016, 07:58:33 PM »
To answer about Sam's Club, you do not have to have a membership BUT they can charge you more for the drug than members.

kimmarg

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Re: Epipen costs $1000 a year! Help!
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2016, 09:10:53 PM »
you should shop around different insurance plans.

What about adrenaclick?
http://adrenaclick.com/

Goodrx.com  shows this to be much cheaper and as far as I can see it's the same medication.

I would not get an off brand of this for the simple fact that many many people are trained with/familiar with EpiPen. Daycare workers, school people, medical folks etc.  I've been trained in EpiPen multiple times. If you or your child can't breath do you want me reading directions in fine print or using the most common version I've been trained with?