EpiPen Injection Cost

How Much Does an EpiPen Cost?

Last Updated on March 18, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

For millions of people at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis, having immediate access to an EpiPen can mean the difference between life and death. However, the skyrocketing costs of these essential epinephrine auto-injectors have put them out of reach for many.

This comprehensive guide provides a detailed examination of EpiPen pricing, factors driving costs, tips for maximizing savings, resources for financial assistance, advice for navigating insurance, information on alternatives, and solutions to help ensure you can access this lifesaving medication affordably.

How Much Does an EpiPen Cost?

On average nationally, expect to pay:

  • Brand-name EpiPen 2-pack:
    • $300 to $700 without insurance
    • $0 to $50 with insurance and manufacturer coupons
  • Generic EpiPen 2-pack:
    • $100 to $300 without insurance
    • $0 to $75 with insurance

Talk to Mira mentions that the average price of brand-name EpiPens is $690 at pharmacies, while generic versions cost about half that amount. The cost of a brand-name EpiPen Jr is around $650, with generic versions priced at approximately $340.

According to Drugs.com, a brand-name EpiPen or EpiPen Jr package typically costs between $650 to $700. In Canada, an EpiPen can cost around $100 to $150 and is available without a prescription. Generic epinephrine auto-injectors in the U.S. have an average cost of about $750 for two auto-injectors.

SingleCare writes that the cost of an EpiPen without insurance can be around $800 for a two-pack carton, translating to $400 per auto-injector. However, using a SingleCare prescription discount card, two EpiPen or EpiPen Jr auto-injectors can be purchased for as low as $420. Generic epinephrine auto-injectors in the U.S. have an average cost of about $750 for two auto-injectors.

Vox notes that Mylan, the company behind EpiPen, significantly increased the list price of a two-pack of EpiPens from $94 to $609 over a decade. Patients faced challenges affording this life-saving medication, leading to public scrutiny and investigations. Lower-priced competitors entered the market, but the cost crisis persisted for many families.

Shopping around and using free coupons can bring major savings.

What’s Behind the Rising EpiPen Costs?

Several key factors influence the retail price you’ll pay for an EpiPen:

  • Brand Name vs. Generic – Branded EpiPen costs $300 to $700 for a 2-pack, while an authorized generic version ranges from $100 to $300.
  • Insurance Plan Details – Out-of-pocket costs vary based on deductibles, copays/coinsurance rates, preferred brands, and other policy factors.
  • Pharmacies – Each pharmacy sets their own retail cash prices. Comparison shopping is wise.
  • Location – State regulations, competition, and supply logistics impact geographic pricing.
  • Discounts – Manufacturer coupons and payment assistance programs can reduce costs dramatically.
  • Patents – Brand drug patents enable higher pricing power until generics enter market.

Monitoring these variables helps you determine the most affordable EpiPen option.

Tips for Maximizing EpiPen Savings

Take advantage of money-saving offerings:

  • EpiPen savings card – Get brand name 2-pack for $0 with insurance.
  • Generic EpiPen coupon – Take $100 to $150 off pharmacy retail prices.
  • Compare pharmacy rates – Check for price variance between chains.
  • Buy online coupons – Sites like SingleCare and GoodRx offer EpiPen discounts.
  • Explore OTC alternatives – Adrenaclick may cost as low as $140 to $150.
  • Buy in bulk – Check prices for buying multiple 2-packs at once.
  • Generic incentives – Some insurers offer lower copays for choosing generic.
  • Tax incentives – FSAs/HSAs provide tax savings for medical costs.
  • Prescription sharing – Partner with others needing EpiPen to save.

Leave no stone unturned when researching ways to lower costs.

Financial Assistance Programs Provide Access

If still unaffordable, assistance programs help cover costs:

  • Medicaid covers EpiPens at no charge for eligible low-income families.
  • EpiPen manufacturers offer free pens based on demonstrated financial hardship.
  • Non-profits like United Way provide grants to purchase EpiPens.
  • Community health centers offer EpiPens on a sliding fee scale.
  • Hospital charity care programs provide discounted or free EpiPens to qualified patients.

Check with your doctor and local health organizations about available resources.

Insurance to Lower EpiPen Costs

Check with your health insurer to understand your specific EpiPen coverage:

  • Verify your deductible amount and any applicable copays or coinsurance rates.
  • Ask if the plan has a preferred product – brand vs. authorized generic.
  • Confirm any exclusions, limitations, or prior authorizations required.
  • Ensure coupons and savings cards apply to reduce your out-of-pocket expense.
  • Appeal any denied EpiPen claims and request exceptions if medically necessary.
  • Consider switching to a plan with better prescription benefits if able.

Insurers aim to help make medications affordable. Work with them and your doctor to maximize coverage.

Where Can You Buy an EpiPen?

Once you have a prescription, you can purchase EpiPens from:

  • Local pharmacies – Check prices between chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.
  • Online pharmacies – Comparison shop using coupons and rewards programs.
  • Warehouse clubs – Buy in bulk for savings from Costco or Sam’s Club.
  • Discount retailers – Purchase from Amazon Pharmacy or big box stores.
  • Manufacturer direct – Brand name EpiPen offers direct online purchases.

No matter where you buy, check expiration dates and store properly to maintain effectiveness.

Beyond EpiPen – Other Epinephrine Devices

If EpiPen is still unaffordable, other epinephrine auto-injector options exist:

  • Adrenaclick – Lower-cost OTC alternative to EpiPen. $140-$150 for a 2-pack.
  • Auvi-Q – Unique audio guides for administration. $4,500 list price but coupons available.
  • Symjepi – Prefilled syringe version. Around $250 for 2 doses.
  • Epinephrine vials – Manual syringes allowing customized dosing. Under $50 per single vial.

Discuss pros and cons of each with your doctor to make the best choice for your situation.

Advocating for More Affordable Access

EpiPen BoxAnother part of the solution is advocating for lower EpiPen pricing and increased access through:

  • Supporting legislation that limits price spikes on generics.
  • Calling for transparency from manufacturers on R&D and pricing.
  • Funding additional cost-benefit research on epinephrine access.
  • Petitioning government agencies to take action addressing unaffordability issues.
  • Raising public awareness and applying pressure on manufacturers.
  • Demanding insurers cover epinephrine devices without burdensome restrictions.

Getting involved accelerates progress toward affordable, accessible lifesaving EpiPens for all.

Final Words

Hopefully this guide provides a wealth of tips, resources, and insights to help you access EpiPen in an affordable manner. Remember – this is your health on the line. Being an educated and empowered self-advocate is essential to obtaining this emergency medication without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an EpiPen cost at Walgreens?

At Walgreens pharmacies, the cash price for a 2-pack of brand-name EpiPens typically ranges from $650 to $700. With insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket cost for EpiPen can be as low as $0 to $50 at Walgreens using the EpiPen manufacturer’s savings card.

Generic EpiPens are also available at Walgreens, costing around $200 to $250 for a 2-pack without insurance. With insurance and coupons, generic EpiPens can cost $50 or less at Walgreens. Shopping around for the best rates, even between nearby pharmacies, can result in significant savings on the cost of EpiPens.

Can I buy an EpiPen over the counter?

No, you cannot buy EpiPen or epinephrine auto-injectors over-the-counter without a valid prescription from a doctor. While the EpiPen itself is not a controlled substance, it can only be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist upon receipt of a doctor’s prescription.

This helps ensure proper training on use of EpiPen and screening for any health conditions or medication interactions. However, once you do obtain a prescription, you can then buy EpiPen at pharmacies, medical supply retailers, and even online with a prescription in hand.

Some alternatives like Adrenaclick may be available over-the-counter in the future as regulations evolve. But for now, a prescription is required for all epinephrine auto-injector brands.

How to get EpiPen for free?

If you cannot afford an EpiPen, several options exist to obtain it for free:

  • Apply to the manufacturer’s patient assistance program if you meet income eligibility criteria.
  • Contact non-profit organizations that provide free EpiPens to those in need.
  • Request EpiPens from a community health clinic’s medication assistance program if qualified by income.
  • Ask your doctor for samples of EpiPen to use until you obtain a full prescription.
  • Enroll in Medicaid which covers the cost of EpiPens for members at no charge.
  • See if any local charities offer EpiPen grants or financial aid.
  • Set up a crowdsourcing campaign to request donations to purchase EpiPens.

With the right assistance, those in financial need should not be denied this essential, lifesaving medication. Reach out for help if you cannot afford an EpiPen.

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