The high price of epinephrine autoinjectors, such as the EpiPen brand, are driving some parents and allergy sufferers to the more dangerous syringe and vial option. The cost of EpiPens has risen 600 percent in the last decade as demand for the injectors has soared.
A typical epinephrine autoinjector has a shelf life of about a year and costs roughly $600 per pack of two. Most children require at least two packs per year, one for home use and one for school, daycare, or camp. In a typical insurance plan, most or all of the cost of an EpiPen or other autoinjector will be paid through the deductible rather than the plan.
A recent news report says that polls are showing that many parents are purchasing cheaper vials and syringes for home use.
A single-use vial of epinephrine costs about twenty dollars and the syringe and needle either comes with it or will cost about two dollars more. Some parents whose budgets cannot handle the $600-$1,200 to be spent on autoinjectors are opting to buy the vial and needle for home use, buying just one EpiPen for school or camp use.
Without training, this option is considered far more dangerous by doctors and pharmacists. The Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) non-profit says that this is not a realistic option for most parents of children with allergies.
FARE instead offers information on filing an appeal to insurance carriers, finding coupons and other money-saving options for purchasing an EpiPen, and other help. FARE lists Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen, as its primary corporate sponsor.