After reading numerous articles about the high costs of epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs), over the last two weeks especially, I decided to look into the differences and our local prices. I am especially concerned that some people do not fill or refill their EAI prescriptions due to cost, hoping they will not need it; this is very scary and a risk no one with life-threatening food allergies should take.
Let’s start by looking at the different EAIs on the market:
Costs of EAIs in the Memphis, TN area
I called several pharmacies, national chains and local, and inquired about their cash prices for the EAIs. This is the information I received over the phone. Please know this is not necessarily representative of your region; prices change based on area, changes from the manufacturer, and even by store location. Since health insurance plans vary, the pharmacies could not give me any information on cost when using insurance plans. When a patient pays cash price, it typically does not count towards their health insurance plan’s out-of-pocket deductible. Each individual/family should research all available options and choose the best one for their circumstances.
What I learned during the process:
The moral of the story is to do your research to find prices that are affordable for you and your family.
You may also find the following resources helfpul:
Let your voice be heard!
If you don’t like the prices of EAIs, there is something you can DO! Contact your state’s senators and representatives. Go to your Senator's website and find the “Contact Us” link. You search for your senator and representative and will then be asked for your name and message to contact them. The process is similar to find and contact your Representative. Including your family's personal story may be helpful. If every adult in FAAM wrote a letter, our Tennessee Senators and Representatives would receive hundreds of letters. If food allergy families across the country wrote letters, hundreds of U.S. Senators and Representatives would be called to action. Change has to start somewhere!
Food for Thought is the blog for the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth. FAAM's mission is to provide food allergy support, education, advocacy, fellowship & fun for Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately and follow up with a physician.