The EpiPencil is a $30 DIY epinephrine-delivery device. But is it safe?
The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective says it has found a cheap solution to the expensive EpiPen.
Allergy sufferers have been fighting mad since they found out that the cost of the potentially life-saving EpiPen device has soared a whopping 400 percent since 2008, hitting $600 for a two pack in 2016.
According to The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, which aims to help people to make their own medications under the philosophy “free medicine for everyone,” you need just $30 make an epinephrine-delivery device that can make the EpiPen — and its jaw-droppingly huge price tag — obsolete.
Michael Laufer, a mathematician and one of the creators of what has been dubbed the “EpiPencil,” tells CNN Money.
“We’re giving people the requisite information to empower themselves to manage their own health.”
The components to make the EpiPencil include an off-the-shelf needle injector and a syringe loaded with the correct dose of epinephrine, which needs to come from a doctor. You can watch a demo video on the DIY EpiPencil here.
The EpiPencil might sound like a great opportunity to save a lot of money and still have the means available to treat a potentially deadly allergy attack. But medical experts say making a DIY medical device comes with a whole slew of safety risks.
Theresa Eisenman, a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, tells CNN Money that products like the EpiPencil can be dangerous.
“Using unapproved prescription drugs for personal use is a potentially dangerous practice. Neither FDA nor the American public have any assurance that unapproved products are effective, safe or produced under Current Good Manufacturing Practices. Unapproved drugs may be contaminated, sub-potent, super-potent or counterfeit.”
What do you think of hacking a cheap alternative to the EpiPen? Would you use one? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.