SPOKANE, Wash. – Families have been looking to get EpiPens at a cheaper cost ever since the cost skyrocketed.
It has been challenging for families, who say they just do not know what to do now that the out-of-pocket cost for EpiPens is over $600. For some, that means getting that medication outside of the traditional pharmacy.
Ads are now popping up on Craigslist, offering discounted prices on second-hand EpiPens. KREM 2 On Your Side found an ad from a Spokane seller Thursday morning and gave the seller a call to see if he has had any buyers.
Tom Hendershott insisted he was just trying to help people out. He said he got the EpiPens for free from a different Craigslist ad and he thought someone might be willing to buy them for cheaper than you would in a regular pharmacy.
Hendershott said he watched KREM 2 News Wednesday night and saw the story about how some people are going to Canada for the medication or being forced to shell out more than $1,000 to keep their families safe.
“They were unused. They were not expired. When I saw what they were charging people for them, this lady's like, 'Well, I pay $1200 and it's like a house payment to me, in order to get this life-saving medicine for my child,'” Hendershott explained. “I was not trying to make top dollar off of these things. I mean, I figured I'd post them on there for cheap for somebody that could not afford to spend $597 per pen.”
Hendershott ended up getting a lot of responses to his ad. Many of them were angry phone calls from people accusing him of trying to take advantage of them. He ended up taking the ad down and giving the EpiPens to his neighbor.
Police said it is illegal to sell prescription medications to anyone if you do not have a license. It is also important to note that buying from an online source like that is dangerous because you can't verify that it's actually epinephrine and that it is the right dose. Which means, in the case of an emergency, that medicine might not do what it is supposed to do, which could be deadly, and could also make that seller liable.
While it may be tempting to buy on Craigslist, because of that lower price tag, officials said it is not a good idea.