EpiPen too expensive? You can get the same dose for ten bucks

The only reason prices for EpiPens could be raised is that government regulations created a captive market whose regulations required the delivery system that Mylan Labs had patented.  Epinephrine, the actual product delivered to the bloodstream, is a hormone and not patentable.  The ease of use of Mylan’s EpiPen is worthwhile and can save seconds, especially if an inexperienced person is delivering the dosage.

That ease of use costs you several hundred dollars.  If you are, for instance, a family with a child who has a condition that might require an EpiPen and you are willing to forego that convenience and follow a few instructions, you can purchase the capability of delivering that dosage for about ten bucks!  Christian Hauser of ABC22Now reports:

A Miami Valley doctor wants parents to know they have alternatives to the costly EpiPen.

Dr. Marcus Romanello is the Chief Medical Officer and the Emergency Medicine Physician at Ft. Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton. He knows all too well how scary it is for parents of children with allergies. (snip)

He wants parents to know they can save hundreds of dollars.

"I paid $5.89, cash price for this (bottle of epinephrine), no insurance required," said Dr. Romanello.

Less than $6 for the life-saving medicine. Add an Altoid tin and syringe and you've got an epinephrine injector kit for under $10.

"Attach the needle. Pop the top and draw up the prescribed amount," said Dr. Romanello.

But you lose the convenience of the EpiPen.

He says when your doctor gives you the prescription, they can show you how to give the shot.

"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," said Dr. Romanello.

The market has provided a well priced alterative if the price of convenience is too high.

Can we please stop the hyperventilating on Mylan?  Nobody needs to die.  Maybe teachers could be taught how to administer a dose by syringe, and then schools wouldn’t need expensive EpiPens, so the regulations could be eased.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman