The price of a lifesaving EpiPen has skyrocketed, and that’s putting people with severe allergic reactions at risk. Since the drug manufacturer, Mylan, purchased EpiPen in 2007, the price has gone up more than 400 percent. There is no generic for EpiPen, but doctors can prescribe another kind of auto-injector for epinephrine that can cost hundreds of dollars less.
The Epinephrine Auto-Injector, also called generic Adrenaclick, uses the exact same drug in the exact same dose as EpiPen. The difference is in how the injector pens are designed and how they work.
With EpiPen, you need to remove a blue safety release, push an orange tip against your outer thigh until the pen ‘clicks,’ and then wait 3 seconds until the drug is fully injected.
With the Epinephrine Auto-Injector, you remove two grey caps, push a red tip against your outer thigh until the needle punctures your skin, and then wait 10 seconds until the drug is fully injected. Either device could save your life in an emergency, so it’s important to fully understand how the device you’re prescribed works.
If you’re frustrated with the high price of EpiPen, Consumer Reports says that generic Adrenaclick may be an option to discuss with your doctor.
Some patients can cut costs even more by filling manual syringes with epinephrine themselves, but that can be a tricky process and must be done with extreme care.
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