EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector that is used to treat anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction. An EpiPen prescription is life-saving for people with severe food allergies, but it is also expensive. Despite the risk of death with anaphylaxis, some patients choose not to fill their prescription for an EpiPen because they can’t afford it.
Here are some things to consider as you look for ways you can save money on EpiPen, to help ensure you always have epinephrine handy in case of an anaphylactic reaction.
How Much Does EpiPen Cost?
The cash price for a 2-pack of EpiPens ranges from $600-$800, while the authorized generic version could be anywhere from $150-$350 for the same dose. This is expensive for many patients, especially if they need EpiPens for multiple family members.
Most insurance plans will cover some form of epinephrine auto-injectors, but you may still find yourself responsible for a high co-pay. Luckily, there are other ways to save.
Related: EpiPen Savings Tool
Use Generic Auto-Injectors
There used to be no generic versions of EpiPen available, which contributed to the high cost of epinephrine auto-injectors. Now, consumers have several alternative options:
- Teva’s Epinephrine Auto-Injector
Depending on your insurance coverage, these generics can still sometimes end up being just as expensive as EpiPen. That said, Auvi-Q does have a savings program that offers the auto-injector for $0 to commercially insured, qualifying patients. Also, Teva offers a co-pay savings card, and CVS pharmacies sell Adrenaclick at a cash price of $109.99 for a two-pack.
It’s important to also be aware that these generics may have different injection procedures. You should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to use your epinephrine injector. Some auto-injectors come with instructions, while others require you to order a trainer separately. Most manufacturers also post instructions on their websites.
Use a Prescription Discount Card
Unlike manufacturer coupons and patient assistance programs, prescription discount cards are available to everyone, and there are no requirements to meet. One of the big differences is that you cannot use a discount card in combination with your insurance coverage; you must use one or the other (usually patients will choose whichever one provides the lowest out of pocket cost).
To receive a discounted price on your EpiPen, simply show your Rx savings card or mobile app when picking up your medication at a participating pharmacy.
Look for Manufacturer Coupons or Savings Programs
Mylan, the manufacturer of EpiPen, offers co-pay cards for commercially insured patients who qualify. These cards, also known as manufacturer coupons, can save you $300 on an EpiPen 2-Pak or $25 on a two-pack of the Mylan generic version of EpiPen. Additionally, Mylan offers a Patient Assistance Program.
Manufacturer coupons and savings programs can make EpiPens affordable, but keep in mind that you must qualify for assistance. Visit the official EpiPen website for full requirements.
Compare Pricing Between Pharmacies
When it comes to getting the best price for your medications, you should compare different pharmacies in your area. You might be surprised at how much of a difference you find. There are many online tools that compare pharmacy prices automatically.
Always be sure to check the cash price against your insurance co-pay. You may find that the cash price is actually better, especially if you use a savings program or discount card.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
If your insurance plan has a high deductible or doesn’t cover EpiPen, you may find yourself paying most or all of the cost of your auto-injector. Be sure to check your insurance formulary to see if a generic version of epinephrine auto-injector is covered. You can ask your doctor to write you a prescription for the generic, which will be just as effective as the brand name.
You could also file an appeal for coverage. The appeals process can be somewhat complicated, so ask your doctor if you’re unsure how to proceed. If your insurance company still denies coverage after you appeal, you have the option of filing an external appeal where a third party will decide the coverage.
We hope to see lower pricing for EpiPens in the near future. Until then, use the above strategies to access the lowest price possible on your medication. We recommend downloading or printing a free prescription savings card to have on hand whenever you shop for your prescriptions.