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The manufacturers of epinephrine devices have extended their U.S. savings programs through 2022.

Epinephrine is the only treatment for a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis [anna-fih-LACK-sis]. It is only available through a prescription by your doctor. Most prescriptions come with two auto-injectors in one box.

People with food allergies should have epinephrine with them at all times. For children, this might mean that you need extra epinephrine auto-injectors. For example, your child may need to keep epinephrine at school, as well as some at after-school care. And you may want epinephrine devices that stay at home or go with you when you leave the house.

Here are savings offers for epinephrine auto-injectors and pre-filled syringes, as well as other ideas that may help you save money on drug costs. Your final copay, if any, may vary depending on your insurance plan and the deductibles for your family. Talk with your doctor about which epinephrine device is right for your family.

Savings Programs for Epinephrine Devices

Other Possible Ways to Save Money

  • Change insurance plans – If you are privately insured through work, see if you can shop around during open enrollment. If your family’s income is below a certain level, you might be offered Medicaid and/or your children might qualify under The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This depends on your state. Visit Healthcare.gov or your state’s health insurance site.

  • Switch to the “preferred” device for your plan – If you have prescription benefits, you may save on copays by agreeing to use the epinephrine device that is on the insurance “preferred” list.

  • Use mail order – If you have prescription benefits, look into your plan’s mail order pharmacy options. This may give you a lower price or provide more two-packs of medicine for the same price. Many mail order prescription plans provide patients with a three month’s supply of medicine for the cost of two month’s copay.

  • Talk with your doctor – If you have insurance, talk with your doctor. Sometimes they can write the prescription so that you can get more sets of medicine for one copay. Typically, a two-pack of epinephrine auto-injectors is considered a 30-day supply under your prescription plan. A doctor might write the prescription for six auto-injectors (three two-packs) to be filled at once. This could then be filled through the mail order pharmacy, as described above.

  • Shop around – Call around to different pharmacies. Prices can vary, especially between large chain pharmacies and smaller independent pharmacies. Be aware that the pharmacies at club stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club are generally available to non-members too.

  • Check with the local children’s hospital – This option may work if your child sees doctors at a major children’s hospital. Ask if they have any grants or patient assistance programs that can help pay for your child’s prescription.

  • Talk with your employer – If you have medical insurance through an employer, contact their human resources department. Explain that your insurance will not cover a life-saving medicine for you or your child. Sometimes, if you have a generous employer, they will try to help you.

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Originally published January 2015. Updated March 2022.

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Comments (33)

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Anyone else having issues with the generic epi not working? We are fighting for the brand so we know it works well for our daughter. She was in a panic when the generic epi wouldn't work. She is so afraid of them now. How can I get her brand if I have insurance? Thank goodness we were home to grab an epi pen I had in the kitchen drawer! 

H
Yes, it would not fire. We tried both pens in the pack and neither would fire. I remembered I had epi pens I refilled in May before insurance made us go generic. I ran and grabbed them. It worked as always. My daughter still has bruises from where we tried to inject the generic pens a week later. I will never trust them again.

Stef
H

Uh, just use a syringe? It's about twenty bucks, medicine included. Seriously, for a family that can't afford food if they purchase an auto-injector, a syringe takes a bit of training and provides the same medicine. Yes, an auto-injector is nice, but not everybody can afford it.

Taric25

Hi Taric,

Welcome to KFA.  What food allergies do you manage?

A syringe can be an option.  However, in an emergency, it can be difficult to draw up the meds quickly.  I was just talking re that w an er nurse  the other day.  But...still better than not having epinephrine for sure.

Jen
I have idiopathic anaphylaxis. I'm told it's a form of a mast cell disorder. All it means is that I can become anaphylactic to anything at anytime. Example- I just had knee replacement surgery. I had been taking my pain medicine less than recommended for about two weeks. When I took it the next time I needed it, I went into anaphylaxis. Another one is sometimes I walk out the door and I go into anaphylaxis. I do have known food allergies, but I avoid them. So anytime, anywhere. My kids have had to give me the epi pen at least five times when I couldn't myself.

Stef
H
The end of last week, my doctor talked to the insurance. He got me brand epi pens back. But I am still only allowed a two pack every 23 days as their prescription plan does for all drugs. Errrr! Thank goodness my daughter and I use the same dose in epi's now. Doctor said to fill it every 23 days until I get three packs. Then replace as needed.

Stef
H
That's an issue. She's out until I refill hers. The insurance is more lenient with kids. They know the school requires one with the refill tag on it as does the church, one at home and one on her. I keep her epi that stays home in my towel drawer. So kind of a built in back up.
I couldn't believe when I picked up the recent brand refill, it was $600 before insurance.
Stef


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone
H

This issue should not only take in account those who have a low income. The issue is that the cost of the epi is exorbitantly and greedily marked up by Mylan! It should be ashamed! The strain of paying for epi twin packs is there for everyone who needs it, and especially for families who have more than one member with life-threatening allergies. Moderate income families are always disregarded.

N

Im having problems finding an insurance company that will except the epi pens I have a deathly allergy to tomatoes and chocolate and sodium nitrates the Medicare and blue cross I have do not cover the epi pens at all so I'm stuck any advice you guys could give would be an amazing help thank you 

S
Sabine - will the cover a different generic epinephrine autoinjector? You
doctor has to specifically write the prescription for the generic ones.
Otherwise, the pharmacy has to dispense the brand name.
Kathy P

Sabine, did you ever talk with your doctor and your insurance company to see if generic epinephrine autoinjectors would be covered? There are two versions of generic autoinjectors -- one company's generic version works exactly like their brand name version, from what I understand.

K8sMom2002
Last edited by K8sMom2002

Apparently Express Scripts has decided that both the Mylan generic Epi and the Lineage Therapeutics epinepherine injector are "branded" medication rather than generic.  Spoke with multiple customer service folks as well as one of their "pharmacists" and they are telling me no generic epinepherine auto-injectors exist although they are pushing me to the Mylan generic.  The insurance coverage is of course significantly higher for generics but only if they treat a generic as a generic.  Getting the Mylan generic will raise my costs to $75 a two pack from free on the branded version due to co-pay coupons.

Parent2017

My insurance company sent me a letter saying they no longer cover Mylan Epi-pens as of next month, but supposedly they cover the generic.  I looked up their formulary list.  They cover Auvi-Q at 80%, which is worse than paying full price for the Mylan Epis.  They don't cover Adrenaclick.  In theory, they cover the Mylan generic.  I'll have to leave extra time in August when I attempt to pick up the school's epis for pharmacist-allergist phone tag.  GoodRx lists the prices of your various options at pharmacies near your location.

E
I can't get a cost. My CVS says all epi's are recalled. Mine expires in May, but can't get any replacements. I'm told none are available.

Anyone know if the expiration date can be stretched? I can't be without an epi, but can't replace it according to the pharmacy.

Stef

H
The doctor said he did not know about the problem. Keep calling around. Apparently, Epi pens were recalled about three weeks ago. The pharmacies I spoke to will not sell epi pens until the new, post recall, pens have been sent to them. They do not want the liability. If you need an epi at this time, call 911.

Stef
H