ILLINOIS — Thousands suffer from severe allergies and many rely on life-saving auto-injectors, EpiPens. However, the costs have skyrocketed over the years.
That’s why one bill would allow more people to buy a cheaper alternative. Senator Chapin Rose (R) passed a bill like it last year, but wants to expand it.
Last session, his bill passed and allows emergency responders to use a syringe kit instead of an EpiPen. He now wants to expand the cost-saving version of the drug to schools, churches and homes to save more lives.
The CDC says every three minutes in the U.S. someone has a food allergy reaction and is sent to the emergency room.
That’s why one lawmaker wants to put the life-saving medication, Epinephrine, into more people’s hands.
“Places where people congregate, churches, etc., that might want to have them available, but they’re so darn expensive and again, this is life-saving stuff. When you are an allergic reaction, sometimes you’re not going to live to get to the hospital potentially.”
EpiPens have quintupled in price since the early 2000’s and many families and emergency responders are looking at alternatives to deliver the same medication.
“Cost that has escalated over time because of the middleman with pharmaceuticals, now there’s been a transition. People have gone back to a simple bottle with a syringe.”
Senator Rose’s bill would allow more public places and schools to apply to train to use these manual kids.
“What they’ve developed as a training program with instructions, it’s simply a plastic box with one syringe and an appropriate link, the needle that injects into the muscle.”
However, some people have concerns. They worry they won’t be able to give the proper dosage or can’t inject themselves or someone else.
Dr. Siri says that’s why training should be mandatory.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a healthcare provider that they’ve gone through. some kind of training program, per se and they’re familiar with how to use it. I don’t think there will really be a lot of complications.”
EpiPens do expire and can cost up to $600.
Since the rise in costs for EpiPens, more generic versions are coming out. One is called Auviq. It’s making a comeback in a few weeks and is free for those without insurance.
Another is Adrenaclick which can cost about $100.