Washington families turn to EpiPen alternative

KING 5's Amity Addrisi reports.

The skyrocketing cost of Mylan's EpiPen has families desperate for financial relief. Turns out the EpiPen is not the only option for an auto-injector out there, so many families in Washington have at least one inexpensive alternative.

Doctors say the most important thing, if you or a family member have a life-threatening allergy, is that you must find a way to get this medication. Going without it because of the high cost is not worth the price of your life. During an allergic reaction the drug Epinephrine will reverse your body's dangerous reaction within minutes.

It's a very inexpensive drug, we're talking pennies on the dollar, that's why so many people are angry that Mylan is charging so much for their auto-injector. The primary reason for the increase is because EpiPen's main competitor was taken off the market last year by the FDA due to inconsistent doses of the medication. But Mylan's EpiPen isn't the only epinephrine auto-injector on the market.
Doctor Elizabeth Meade of Swedish Hospital breaks it down the discount.

"There is a generic form of epinephrine auto-injector called Adrenaclick and it usually cost between $140-$200 there's a coupon on good RX.com that families can get to reduce the price on that so that's one alternative for families in Washington state it can be substituted for an EpiPen prescription," said Meade.

If your insurance carrier denies coverage, Meade says don't give up.

"If you don't qualify for the savings card or the patient assistance program in some cases your physician can help you appeal to your insurance company for the coverage so you can always talk with your doctor about that option if you still can't afford it after all these alternatives that we talked about," explains Meade.

There are at least three companies looking into making epinephrine auto-injectors within the next year, one of them generic and probably cost less than $100.

Copyright 2016 KING


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