COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Some parents of kids with allergies are panicking as they send their kids back to school this fall.
For many, it’s time to make sure they are stocked up both at school and at home with a life-saving prescription called EpiPen.
It helps to stop potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, but the price of it has gone up significantly.
Molly Byrne’s 13-year-old son Gannon has a peanut allergy.
“You have to have it (the EpiPen) within five minutes,” said Byrne.
“As a parent, carrying that weight around is overwhelming.”
She says with a high-deductible health insurance plan, and the need to have several EpiPens on hand, she will have to fork over nearly $1,800.
EpiPens used to cost $200 for 2 and now it’s up to $600 for a pair. In addition, the medication expires after a year.
Dr. Roger Friedman, an allergist with Ohio ENT & Allergy Physicians, said some patients will require a second shot, so packaging the devices in pairs makes good medical sense. However, that creates a price hike for patients.
“Economically, it’s become disastrous for our families. It’s really become a crisis. It’s become a crisis for our patients,” explained Friedman.
The Mylan pharmaceutical company has coupons you can find on its website that can save patients up to $100.
One of Mylan’s chief competitors left the market last year, so the company now sells the majority of this type of medication.
In a statement from Mylan, the company recognized consumers are paying more due to high deductible health plans, and said “This change to the industry is not an easy challenge to address, but we recognize the need and are committed to working with customers and payers to find solutions to meet the needs of the patients and families we serve.”