Alternative EpiPen could save hundreds of dollars, provide same results

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With the 400 percent price increase for the EpiPen, many are searching for an alternative epinephrine auto-injector for an affordable price. (KABC)

With the recent 400 percent price increase for the EpiPen, many are searching for an alternative epinephrine auto-injector for an affordable price.

Donna Hannan always makes sure that her son, Daniel, has an EpiPen handy in case of an emergency. Daniel has a severe nut allergy.

"We hope never to use it, but it's absolutely essential that he have it with him everywhere he goes, school, camp, with friends," Hannan said.

Drug manufacturer Mylan purchased EpiPen in 2007, and since then, the price has increased by more than 400 percent.

"My insurance doesn't have a co-pay for the pens. It is frustrating that it costs so much money," Hannan said.

While there is no generic version of Epipen, doctors can prescribe an alternative auto-injector that can cost hundreds of dollars less.

"For a lot less money, the epinephrine auto-injector, also called generic Adrenaclick, uses the exact same drug in the exact same dosing as EpiPen," said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.

The two auto-injectors are different in the way they work and how the injector pens are designed.

With the EpiPen, users remove the blue safety release, then push an orange tip against the outer thigh until the pen clicks. Users must wait three seconds until the drug is fully injected. With the epinephrine auto-injector, users remove two gray caps, then push a red tip against the outer thigh until the needle punctures the skin. It takes 10 seconds until the drug is fully injected.

Both devices can save lives in an emergency, but it is crucial to fully understand how the devices work.

"If you're frustrated with the high price of EpiPens, generic Adrenaclick may be a real option to discuss with your doctor," Gill said.
Related Topics:
healthhealthy livingallergiesmedical emergencyprescription drugsconsumer reports
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