CVS Selling Generic ‘Epipen’ at a Sixth of the Price of Brand Name
Great news for those of us who need to keep the life saving drug handy. CVS is now selling a generic version! However there are caveats.
Also, if you're not an allergy sufferer I'll also go into why people need epinephrine.
Epinephrine is a life saving drug for people with severe allergies. Allergy sufferers know that having a shot handy is the difference of life and death. As a person with allergies (wasps and certain foods), my medicine cabinet is loaded up with over the counter liquid benadryl and $600 worth of epipens. For the record that's only 2 epipens.
That's why CVS selling generics is great news for people like me who are tired of paying through the nose for medicine that will save your life.
The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600.
I don't need to state how huge that is.
Here's the thing, when I originally saw this story on Reddit there is one important caveat.
Clarification here, CVS cut the retail price of the existing generic for Adrenaclick (known as Epinephrine).
This generic has been around for a while, but isn't an A/B rated generic so it's illegal for a pharmacy to dispense this if a prescription is written for EpiPen. We can dispense this if a prescription is written for Adrenaclick or Epinephrine.
Make sure your doctor writes a script for Adrenaclick or it is illegal for us to dispense this cheaper generic to you
So, call your dr and ask to be put on a generic - or - adrenaclick.
What's the difference? Here's a video where someone showing the difference.
Auvi-Q has been recalled and discontinued. Good idea enough idea though.
Now for the folks who don't really understand what happens when you have a 'severe allergic' reaction. I can only speak from my point of view.
Inevitably, someone will ask me what happens when I eat food or get stung by a wasp. Anaphylaxis - Anaphylais as defined by a quick google search is 'a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It typically causes more than one of the following: an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. These symptoms typically come on over minutes to hours.'
Not really something you want to mess with.
I don't have it AS bad as others, my allergies are mainly from eating certain meats. (Weird I know) Thankfully, restaurants usually divide their menus by what meat you want. So, I can usually avoid it by studying the menu for a few moments. Wasps and bees on the other hand I typically don't mess with.
Now, what happens if I start having a reaction? Usually it starts with problems breathing and lightheadedness, left untreated (approx 15 minutes) swelling of my throat and tongue (and one time my entire face). By this point I'm at the ER and they're pumping me full of drugs.
Now, after dealing with for years I have gotten pretty good at cutting it off before it gets too severe. First sign of problem breathing I drink some of the liquid benadryl (liquid because it enters your system faster). If that doesn't stop the reaction I'll pop the epipen.
In the past 5 years or so I have had to run to the ER once. But that was because I was in the middle of nowhere and left my benadryl at home. Which was no fun.
Anyway, I told the pharmacist the last time I went to fill a prescription for Epipens, "$600? It's cheaper to just go to the ER and have them dope me up." My wife, mother, and mother in law joined in one chorus and told me to just pay for the dang shots so I don't die.
'Funny' enough, I thought about asking my dr the next time my epipen expires to just give me a prescription for a vial of epinephrine and a couple of syringes. Glad to know they are other alternatives.