Amid rising prices, cheaper alternative offered to EpiPen

The skyrocketing price of life-saving EpiPens continues to draw fire.

The skyrocketing price of life-saving EpiPens continues to draw fire.

We may see the debate play out in Congress.

But in the meantime, Consumer Reports has some advice. There's an alternative that is much less expensive.

Daniel Hannan has a severe nut allergy. His mother, Donna, makes sure he always has an EpiPen in case of an emergency.

"We hope never to use it. But it's absolutely essential that he has it with him everywhere he goes," said Donna Hannan.

Since the drug manufacturer, Mylan, purchased EpiPen in 2007, the price has gone up more than 400 percent.

"My insurance doesn't have co-pay for the pens. It is frustrating that it costs so much money," said Donna Hannan.

Consumer Reports says doctors can prescribe another kind of auto-injector for epinephrine that can cost hundreds of dollars less.

"For a lot less money, the Epinephrine Auto-injector, also called generic Adrenaclick, uses the exact same drug in the exact same dosing as EpiPen," said Lisa Gill, Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.

There are slight differences in how the injector pens are designed and how they work.

With EpiPen, the user removes a blue safety release, then pushes an orange tip against the outer thigh until the pen "clicks."

Wait 3 seconds until the drug is fully injected.

Older versions of EpiPen require 10 seconds.

With the Adrenaclick auto-injector, you remove two gray caps, then push a red tip against the outer thigh until the needle punctures your skin.

Wait 10 seconds until the drug is fully injected.

"If you're frustrated with the high price of EpiPen, generic Adrenaclick may be a real option to discuss with your doctor," said Gill.

If you do switch devices, make sure everyone knows how to use the injector.

If it is for your child, that includes their teachers, the school nurse, baby-sitters and coaches.
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