Options for Texoma Customers After Epipen Price Hike - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Options for Texoma Customers After Epipen Price Hike


TEXOMA - The Epipen has been topping headlines recently because of the $500 price hike of the life-saving product. Local allergists say, there are options for parents struggling to make ends meet.

“If she wasn't close enough to an emergency room,” says Tara Holliday, who’s 17 year-old daughter has been allergic to cashews since she was 10,” or they didn't understand what was wrong with her, she could die. Her throat swells shut in a matter of minutes. She has to be in an emergency room on an iv without an Epipen.”

Holliday says her daughter has to carry the life-saving device, which now costs about $600.

"It's very difficult,” says Holliday. “It's scary, because we don't have health insurance and we have to pay for it out of pocket.”

For many like Holliday, epinephrine, the drug found in the Epipen, is a necessity. That’s something Dr. John Van Wagoner is all too familiar with.

“Epinephrine is a drug that we can use to reverse allergic reactions.[…] now they're having to pay up to over $600 a pen of medicine they may not even use, but you know how do you weight that against the safety of your child.”
Dr. Van Wagoner says the price of the Epipens has gone up in price 400% since 2009, and 30% since last year when the competitor to the Epipen took its product off the market.

There is good news though.

"Mylan has come back with an announcement that they're going to come out with a generic version of Epipen,” says Dr. Van Wagoner. “That should be about 50% […] hopeful that maybe congress is [going to] talk to this company here in the next couple of months and they're going to ask for a lot of documents so hopefully Mylan will come back and do something about their pricing structure because it's definitely outrageous."

Still many believe $300 for a generic Epipen is still too much.
"I think if enough people speak up and talk about it,” says Holliday, “then maybe they'll realize that it shouldn't just be about money it should be about people's livelihoods."

Dr. Van Wagoner says make sure to ask your doctor about an epinephrine auto-injector as an option for a cheaper solution.