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Feel Good Friday: Help with Epi-Pen Prices


— May 5, 2017

This week’s Feel Good Friday is brought to you by corporate greed and those of us who despise it. Unlike the usual Feel Good Friday article, this post doesn’t highlight an individual lawyer, a law firm, or a legal organization. This one is more of a public service piece suggested to me by a very dear friend after we worked together to find a way for her to obtain an affordable, life-saving Epi-Pen. This method applies to a generic version of the Epi-Pen called the Adrenaclick Epinephrine Autoinjector.

The drastic and unforgivable price increases that Mylan, the manufacturer of the Epi-Pen, put forth over the last year have made the drug unaffordable for many Americans. Yet, these good people can’t just shrug their shoulders and not get their prescriptions filled. To do so is to risk their lives in a gamble no one should have to make. Serious allergies such as to bee stings and peanuts produce a potentially fatal reaction called anaphylaxis.

The Mayo Clinic describes anaphylaxis as a reaction that “causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking breathing. Signs and symptoms include a rapid, weak pulse; a skin rash; and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers include certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex.” Speaking of food… What about the risks of flying when you have severe food allergies? The Epi-Pen is even more important in this situation.

In other words, people with these allergies need epinephrine, the drug in the Epi-Pen, in order to survive. Even then, the Epi-Pen is a stop-gap treatment; allergy sufferers are advised to get to an emergency room as soon as possible after exposure to an allergy trigger and subsequent Epi-Pen use.

No one should have to choose between life-saving treatment and buying groceries. Yet, this is exactly the current situation in America. “Profits over patients” strikes again. The public is fighting back via the civil justice system, but such cases often take a very long time to be tried to conclusion. In the meantime, what are we to do?

Some adults are choosing to go without the Epi-Pen. It’s a grave and serious risk, but in today’s world landlords, mortgage holders and creditors don’t care that you’re trying to protect yourself; they just want their money. Some are choosing to face the wrath of the aforementioned creditors to keep themselves safe. In cases where the allergic individual is one’s child, this is especially true. We can rationalize taking the risk for ourselves (be careful when bees are around, be extra cautious about food), but we cannot expect that children will always exercise the same level of care. Even careful adults make mistakes, after all.

There are things we can do, though, other than choose to skip meals. My friend lost her job, an event that made paying $600+ for Epi-Pens impossible. We were discussing it one morning and I thought, “Big Pharma sometimes has programs to help people with drug costs. I wonder if this is the case with Mylan.”

I couldn’t find anything on Mylan’s website indicating they had such a program; however, it may just be buried in fine print. I did remember a commercial I saw for a website/app called GoodRx, though. And there is where I found a ray of hope for those struggling with the choice of medicine or meals. [Note: Neither the author, nor Legal Reader, was compensated for this mention.]

I’ll let the folks at GoodRx (via their website) explain what they do.

“Why do I need GoodRx?

Prescription drug prices are not regulated. The cost of a prescription may differ by more than $100 between pharmacies across the street from each other! Insurance isn’t helping like it used to. In the past 10 years, insurance companies have passed 25-80% more of the cost of drugs onto patients.

How can GoodRx help me?

GoodRx gathers current prices and discounts to help you find the lowest cost pharmacy for your prescriptions. The average GoodRx customer saves $276 a year on their prescriptions.

GoodRx is 100% free. No personal information required.”

Sounds great, right? It is. Here’s how my friend got the Adrenaclick Epinephrine Autoinjector at no charge.

Step 1:

Go to GoodRx and search for Epi-Pen. You’ll get the page shown below. It’s important to note that the “Adrenaclick” (circled in red) link is the one you want to click.

GoodRx search results for “Epi-Pen,” image courtesy of www.goodrx.com.

Step 2:

Now, you’ll see the screen below. Click the “Manufacturer Coupon” link (circled in red).

Manufacturer coupon link; image courtesy of www.goodrx.com.
Manufacturer coupon link; image courtesy of www.goodrx.com.

Step 3:

Click the “Visit Manufacturer Site” at the bottom of the page.

"Visit Manufacturer Site" link; image courtesy of www.goodrx.com.
“Visit Manufacturer Site” link; image courtesy of www.goodrx.com.

Step 4:

Once on Impax’ (the manufacturer’s) website, scroll down until you see the image below and click on “Click Here to Save.”

"Click Here to Save" link; image courtesy of Impax Laboratories at www.ephinephrineautoinjector.com.
“Click Here to Save” link; image courtesy of Impax Laboratories at www.ephinephrineautoinjector.com.

Last Step:

Print out and take the coupon (example shown below), with a valid prescription, to your pharmacy.

Epinephrine autoinjector coupon; image courtesy of Impax Laboratories, Inc. and TrialCard.
Epinephrine autoinjector coupon; image courtesy of Impax Laboratories, Inc. and TrialCard.

Your experience may vary based upon your insurance or lack thereof, but my friend ended up getting two of the Adrenaclick Epinephrine Autoinjectors for the grand total of $0.

It is my hope that this article will help those who, like my friend, are in dire need of this life-saving drug but don’t have the means to obtain it.

Please feel free to share this information.

Note: I did not test GoodRx to see if such coupons were available for other prescriptions. However, if you’re having difficulties paying for medicine, it’s worth spending some time on their website. The instructions for the Adrenaclick Epinephrine Autoinjector will likely work for finding discounts on other drugs.

Sources:

GoodRx
Impax Laboratories, Inc.

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