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EpiPen alternatives could save you money

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The price for the EpiPen has steadily increased since 2009 by more than 400 percent, leaving outraged parents wondering why.

The price hike is due to the EpiPen company, Mylan, having complete control of the market. The monopoly has allowed Mylan to raise the price without many consequences. But if your child has an allergy, the high price could mean life or death.

WHNT News 19 took action and spoke with a local pharmacist to find out more about EpiPen alternatives and how they could help you.

"Right now the only alternative is this other epinephrin auto-injector," said Huntsville Hospital pharmacist Michele Durda. She said amid recent price hikes, people might not be aware there is another option available besides the EpiPen.

"If you want to try the generic, you would need to ask your doctor to write for either an epinephrin auto-injector, or Adrenaclick," said Durda.

Durda said if you do choose to switch from the EpiPen to the Adrenaclick product, there are a few things to keep in mind.

"They are different devices, so you would need to look at the instructions and understand how to use the new device," she said.

Durda said the companies provide free training for the alternative product. Another to keep in mind is how cost-effective this could be for you.

"It would be a good idea to find out if this is a cost savings for you. Anywhere between 40 and 50 percent less costly is kind of what would be expected," she adds.

Durda said the savings will depend on your insurance company and the pharmacy that you use. But, it could be a big help since a two pack of EpiPens are now going for around $500.

Durda also said there has been a lot of conversation on the Congress floor about this topic. Hopefully some new legislation will come out regarding decreasing the costs of medicine like the Epipen.