Here’s One Doctor’s Recommendation for the EpiPen Price Hike

posted: 08/29/16
by: Amanda Mushro

For parents whose children have severe allergies, they know the medicine in an EpiPen is literally a lifesaver. Often parents purchase several EpiPens so they have the medicine that can stop anaphylactic reactions with their children at all times: at school, home, and with caretakers. However, after Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the EpiPens, announced the price of the EpiPen auto injector would double to over $600 for a two pack of the lifesaving medicine, parents are reeling and questioning how will they afford the EpiPen when so many are already working with tight budgets.

Dr. Marcus Romanello, the Chief Medical Officer and the Emergency Medicine Physician at Ft. Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio, is offering up a solution for parents that need to purchase multiple EpiPens and are looking for a more cost effective way to provide epinephrine to their child. And with his method, all it takes is a six dollar multi-dose vial of epinephrine, a syringe and an Altoids tin.

"The sudden rise in cost is alarming because I worry about parents who are literally having to choose between carrying a life-saving device and putting food on the table," Dr. Romanello tells ABC News. "I paid $5.89, cash price for this (bottle of epinephrine), no insurance required."

So for a total of $10, Dr Romanello has created a portable epinephrine kit. But is this safe?

Dr. Romaanello says it is safe but can take some training and adds "It does require some degree of medical comfort with a needle and syringe, drawing up the appropriate dose. If someone were to draw up a little too much, not an issue. In a setting of anaphylactic reaction too much is not going to hurt."

So parents can keep a preloaded syringe in the kit and administer the medication if their child goes into an anaphylactic reaction.

Mylan has announced that a generic version of their EpiPen will be available for $300 for a two pack of the medication. But for families that are struggling to afford multiple EpiPens or are thinking of using expired EpiPens, consult your doctor to see if the muli-dose bottle is an option for you and your child.