Local Company Battles Rise in Epipen Cost



Canada Meds Services (CMS), a locally owned discount prescription sourcing company, now sells the children’s version of the widely used Epipen anaphylactic shock treatment injector, the Epipen Jr., for three-times cheaper than the manufacturer at only $180. CMS partners with international pharmacies offering a two-pack of the drug at a significant discount, which then gets mailed to the patient.

Epipen Jr. manufacturer Mylan has faced scrutiny in national media over the past nine years as a result of the rise in cost of their life-saving medication. With an average of $94 per two-pack in 2007, the price of the medication now jumps to the current average of $608. Thus, an uninsured individual in need of anaphylactic shock treatment faces a retail price ranging from $600 to $800, depending on the pharmacy. Mylan announced a $300 generic version that will hit the shelves in the coming months, but for those without insurance a more cost-effective solution is available through CMS.

In the United States alone, nearly 15 million people need an Epipen to help alleviate potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis attacks. With such a steep price increase on the standard two-pack of medication, a large number of people in need will no longer have access to the necessary medications for their children. “We are hoping to help ease the burden on families that are forced to pay the high prices until the generic versions of the medication are released,” says Samantha Hobbs, vice president of CMS. “Hopefully at that point, insurance companies will step in to assist with payment.”

CMS’ lower cost initiative provides many local families with the proper medication needed just months before the implantation of Mylan’s generic version of the Epipen Jr. and coincides with the commencement of the 2016–17 school year.

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