Chances are you’ve seen EpiPen in the news lately.
Those with severe allergies likely know the name. EpiPen is a small pen-like “auto-injector” syringe used to deliver the drug epinephrine, which is used to battleanaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. The news surrounding this life-saving device is that the cost for a two-pack has skyrocketed from $146 nine years ago to more than $600 today.
Three U.S. Senators are now calling for an investigation into Mylan, the company that bought EpiPen in 2007, to try to better understand what’s behind the drug’s rising price.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the current alternatives as well as a potential future competitor to the EpiPen:
Adrenaclick is another epinephrine injector on the market, and the prices are drastically lower than EpiPen with a GoodRX discount. According to Consumer Reports, you can get it, with the discount, for as low as $142 from Sam’s Club and Walmart.
A note to pay attention to: Adrenaclick isn’t the same technology and is used differently than an EpiPen, so make sure you study the instructions to ensure you use it correctly.
2. DIY Syringe
Consumer Reports also notes that some have turned to a DIY approach, measuring epinephrine from a vial and administering it via syringe. This is a risky alternative to a pre-measured and easy-to-use “pen” device, and is not advised without the express consent of your doctor.
Per Consumer Reports: “…experts caution that switching to a do-it-yourself syringe is more complicated and can result in getting too much or little epinephrine. What’s more, you’ll need to be trained by a doctor or pharmacist on how to inject the drug quickly and accurately before attempting to try it during an emergency. ”
Pending FDA approval, there could be another EpiPen competitor on the market in the future. Enterprising college students from Minnesota created “AdrenaCard,” which injects epinephrine in a manner similar to the EpiPen or Adrenaclick. The difference is the shape of the packaging; AdrenaCard is shaped like a credit card and was developed to fit easily into one’s pocket.
Learn more about it below:
4. Generic EpiPen
A generic EpiPen could become available, at earliest, in 2017. The manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, applied for FDA approval earlier this year and is currently addressing, per the FDA, “major deficiencies” in its application. Stay tuned on this one.