EpiPen prices creates conversation about the future of healthcar - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

EpiPen prices creates conversation about the future of healthcare

(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

We've told you recently about how a life-saving allergy medication is breaking the bank for many people who need it.

Now, there's word a generic option to the EpiPen will sell for half the price.

"It's not a want, it's a need," Whitney Roberts said.

Roberts has used an EpiPen for four years. She's shocked to see the price of the life-saving medication continue to rise.

"I think its kind of a little outrageous," she said. "Sometimes to have medicine that's so pricey it's not like people get this medication cause they don't have to, they get it because they need it."

"About 20 years ago, the cost was $30, its now running between $500 and $700 depending on the market," allergist Dr. Janna Tuck said.

Dr. Tuck said the price leaves people in a tight spot, some patients will have to choose between the life-saving medication and other needed expenses.

"It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to get medicine once a month, or once a year, it should be affordable for everyone," Roberts said.

Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, responded to the public outcry by announcing a generic version of the medication to be sold for $300.  

"If your insurance covers the generic, then that might be substantial savings for you, you need to empower yourself as a patient," Dr. Tuck said.

However, the move hasn't silence critics, who claim the generic devices still cost three times more than the branded EpiPen did back in 2007. 

Dr. Tuck said the focus on the EpiPen price hike highlights a much bigger problem.     

"I think it brings up a great conversation about where we are going with health care in the United States and about the cost of medication and the cost of health care something eventually is going to have to be done because we can't continue in this manner."

Dr. Tuck has tips on ways to save on the EpiPen:

  • If you have $100 coupon you can still use it, the company has increased it to $300 coupon.
  • Sign up for the online patient program, there's a possibility you could qualify for free EpiPens

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