Health

You Can Now Buy A Generic EpiPen For As Low As $10 (With Coupon)

Big news for people with severe allergies.

If you have life-threatening allergies, you’re no doubt familiar with EpiPens, which are used to quickly deliver a dose of epinephrine to prevent someone who is having a serious allergic reaction from going into an anaphylactic shock.

EpiPens can be a true lifesaver, and for years they were the only solution for people at risk for severe allergic reactions.

In the past, EpiPens were relatively affordable. But over the last few years, Mylan, the company that took over the marketing and distribution of EpiPens, increased the price for a pair from $100 in 2008 to more than $600 today—drawing outrage from many consumers who can’t afford that expense, but desperately need the pen.

EpiPen
@cbsthismorning/Instagram

But now, there’s some good news for families struggling to afford EpiPens. A competitor called Adrenaclick recently released a generic epinephrine pen.

Pairs of the generic pens are being sold at CVS for $110—but CVS has partnered with Impax Laboratories to offer coupons that bring the cost down to $10 for some patients. (Here’s where you can get access to the epinephrine injector coupon and learn more the fine print.)

Related: 5 Smart Plant Choices For An Allergy-Free Garden

Adrenaclick has been around for the last 13 years, going by different names when different companies owned the product, according to The New York Times. Like EpiPen, Adrenaclick is an epinephrine auto-injector that has been medically approved by the FDA and recommended by doctors.

So, why have we never heard of this lower-cost option?

Well, even though it has long been a much cheaper alternative to EpiPen, Adrenaclick never had the marketing resources that EpiPen had. While Adrenaclick sputtered, The New York Times reports that EpiPen rose to prominence and became the household name for treating life-threatening allergies.

7005076936_3ed31a3829_b_epipen

Another factor that helped EpiPen dominate the market is its classification. Since 1997, EpiPens were wrongly classified as a generic drug. Generic drugs have lower Medicaid rebates, which is the amount of money companies pay to Medicaid to sell their product on the market.

This helped EpiPen grow significantly, but Congress recently stepped in and forced Mylan to change the classification to create a level playing field for Adrenaclick.

Proving that companies do listen to feedback from customers, EpiPen responded to backlash from its price hike by introducing its own generic version, which costs $300 for two pens.

Related: New Guidelines On When To Expose Children To Peanuts Might Surprise You

That paved the way for Adrenaclick to partner with Impax Laboratories and CVS Pharmacies to create an even cheaper generic pen, according their press release.

What a great example of how competition in the marketplace can ultimately benefit consumers!