Food allergies are scary, exhausting, and difficult to manage. From the first reaction, the doctors’ appointments and testing, the food-purge, and the education and advocation of others, there are so many bases you have to cover, and so many discussions around each. However, people often forget to mention the costs.
When I worked in a Medication Assistance program, we often used a pharmacy resource call RXOutreach that sold expensive medications to patients who were no more than FPL. Unfortunately, looking now they are charging $200 for a pack of two as well.
Those who don’t have insurance and are no more than 200% of the FPL are eligible for Mylan’s Prescription Assistance Program (PAP); however, the paperwork required and turnaround time for processing could be 2 months or more. The application has to be printed and mailed in with financial documentation, proof of no insurance, and a prescription from your doctor. The application can be printed here: mylan-epipen-frm
In one of my online support groups, citizens from Canada have suggested having your doctor send in your script to a Canadian pharmacy and have it mailed to you. The cost would then be between $5 and $20. This could take a month to receive. My only concerns with this is knowing whether or not the pharmacy you use is legit and the fact they are not FDA monitored/approved.
If you have insurance, do not fear; there is still an option for you. Mylan also offers a My EpiPen Savings Card, boasting a $0 copay for 6 pens for those with insurance. This, of course, comes with an asterisk. The card only covers $300, so if your insurance still expects you to pay $300, then that is your responsibility. Lauren Reiniger has a blog post about her own struggles with the cost of Epi-pens despite the fact that she has insurance: “The EpiPen Might Save My Life, But Not Before it Breaks My Bank“.
Unfortunately, there are those who cannot wait for a prescription from Canada or the drug company, those who aren’t eligible for prescription savings, and those with no money, so what choice do they have? Is it fair that they should take the chance, risk their life? The issue of food allergies already has so many added costs, it doesn’t make sense that this one life saving drug should be so inaccessible to those who really need it.
*Permission granted by Lauren Reiniger to mention/link to the post “The EpiPen Might Save My Life, But Not Before it Breaks My Bank“.