How to Get an EpiPen Alternative For Free

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Rob Byron /

After being recalled for potentially inaccurate dosage delivery, Auvi-Q — an EpiPen alternative manufactured by Kaléo Pharma — will be back on the market by Feb. 14.

Kaléo Pharma announced Friday that its epinephrine auto-injector devices will be available by prescription and will cost most Americans nothing. Spencer Williamson, president and CEO of Kaléo Pharma, says in a statement:

“For more than 200 million Americans with commercial insurance, including those with high-deductible plans, the out-of-pocket cost for Auvi-Q will be $0.”

Kaléo Pharma’s Auvi-Q AffordAbility program ensures that people with commercial insurance — even those with high-deductible plans — pay nothing out-of-pocket to acquire Auvi-Q. People with no insurance and a household income of less than $100,000 can get the medical device for free.

Kaléo says the cash price for Auvi-Q is $360.

“No epinephrine auto-injector, branded or even generic, will cost a commercially insured patient less out of pocket than Auvi-Q,” Williamson says, according to a report in Money.

But according to CNBC, insurers will be billed a whopping $4,500 for a two-pack of the epinephrine injector devices. Williamson is quick to note that after discounts and rebates, insurers will never pay the full sticker price.

“We wish we didn’t have to do this, but the system is set up in a way that without this bold move, patients wouldn’t get access and be able to afford Auvi-Q,” Williamson says.

It’s been five months since the skyrocketing price of the EpiPen — a medical device that can stop a potentially deadly reaction to a food allergy or bee sting — first made headlines, sparking nationwide outrage and debate about the cost of prescription drugs in the United States.

A two-pack of EpiPens cost $600 to $650 today. That’s a 400 percent increase from its 2008 price tag. Mylan, which manufactures the EpiPen devices, also sells a two-pack of generic EpiPens for $300 to $340.

Just last week CVS announced that it was selling a generic version of Impax Laboratories’ Adrenaclick — an alternative to Mylan’s EpiPen — for $109.99 for a two pack.

Have you struggled to afford the cost of an EpiPen or one of its alternatives? Share your experiences below or on Facebook.

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