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Colorado Springs patients upset at high cost of EpiPen

Colorado Springs patients upset at high cost of "EpiPen"

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Those who have severe allergies often use the EpiPen to help them when they experience extreme reactions.

The cost for the medication has skyrocketed in the last several years and it's starting to keep people from buying the medicine they need.

"As you can see we have purchased several in the past because I always save the trainers," Nicole Smith said holding a gallon-sized bag half-filled with trainer EpiPens.

Smith's son Morgan needs the medicine, as he's dealt with multiple allergies for 19 years.

"Today he's 20 years old and in college with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish and shellfish," Smith said. "He also has asthma and environmental allergies.

Doctors say the EpiPen is ideal for people with life-threatening allergies. It delivers the correct dose of epinephrine when pressed against someone's thigh for three seconds.

"At the current time the EpiPen is the answer," Dr. William Storms said, "You do have to find a way to pay for it."

Dr. Storms has prescribed the EpiPen for 35 years. With prices jumping up 400 percent since 2008, Dr. Storms says he worries patients won't buy the pen.

"Even though they say, 'Yes I'll do it' , maybe they get there and it's too much money. They don't do it, they could have a severe reaction," Dr. Storms said.

The Mylan Pharmaceutical Company distributes the EpiPens and prices recently jumped after their closest competitor issued a recall last year.

"When I went to Walgreens to purchase a two-pack of EpiPens, the cost was $600," Smith said.

Smith says she went out of the company to save money.

"Those were being made by a Swedish company, and the price was cheaper so I got two EpiPens and I still paid $225," Smith said.

As Smith says she'll do anything to make sure Morgan has his EpiPens on him at all times.

"For us we are going to find a way to be able to afford to purchase at least two EpiPens," Smith said.

Mylan does have a $100 coupon online, but people with high insurance deductibles will still end up paying hundreds of dollars.


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