Help for buying Epi-pens if you don’t have insurance (or even if you do)

Epi-pens are in the news lately because of their price jump.

I have a way of making that better.  I won’t lie, you still may have to pay a lot, but you won’t have to pay over a thousand dollars for a two pack of Epipens if you use this trick.

Epi-pens actually have a generic form that costs a lot less than the brand. The problem is, not all the pharmacies have the two linked together in their drug catalogs – so if you ask a customer service agent or pharmacy tech about it, they may not automatically see the alternative.

The alternative to an Epi-pen is called simply ‘epinephrine auto injector.” It usually costs three or four hundred for a two pack without insurance, which is a lot, but it’s a whole lot less than the brand name currently is.

If you do have insurance and want to pay the generic copay, call in and ask the customer service agent if there are any “alternatives” to the Epi pen. That’s the magic word. If you say “does the Epi pen have a generic?” the agent may check, not see one, and not think to ask a pharmacist.

The difference between a generic and an alternative is simple. A generic is the same active ingredient as the original brand, just made by a different company, and only the inactive ingredients are supposed to be different. An alternative is usually a slightly different drug that is used to treat the same condition.   Put simply, an Epi-pen IS an epinephrine auto injector, but not all epinephrine auto injectors are made by Epi-pen.

The thing is here, both an Epi-pen and an “epinephrine auto injector” should be on the same project page because they contain the same thing. But they often don’t, so you can save a lot of money, and possibly a loved one’s life.

2 thoughts on “Help for buying Epi-pens if you don’t have insurance (or even if you do)

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