Food allergies affect 15 million people in the U.S., including 1 in 13 children. There is no cure for this life-changing and potentially fatal disease, and there are no approved treatments to stop food allergy reactions before they start. Individuals with food allergies must carefully avoid even the smallest amounts of their problem foods to prevent allergic reactions, which can include a severe and sometimes deadly reaction called anaphylaxis.
Injectable epinephrine (adrenaline) is the only effective treatment to halt the severe symptoms of anaphylaxis. Members of the public can quickly give epinephrine using spring-loaded syringes called epinephrine auto-injectors. When epinephrine is delayed, the risk of death from an allergic reaction increases. Therefore, people with food allergies should always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with them to stay safe.
There are currently four epinephrine auto-injectors on the U.S. market: authorized generic of Adrenaclick®, Auvi-Q®, EpiPen®/EpiPen® Jr., and authorized generics of EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr. All four are available in 0.15 milligram (for children weighing 33 to 66 pounds) and 0.3 milligram (for larger children and adults).
A 0.1 milligram version of Auvi-Q has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children weighing 16.5 to 33 pounds. This epinephrine auto-injector for infants became available May 1.
At full price, epinephrine auto-injectors are costly. However, there are some resources to help make access more affordable.
Through CVS Pharmacy, patients can purchase the generic of Adrenaclick for $110 per two-pack. The manufacturer, Impax, also provides a saving card.
For commercially insured patients and uninsured households earning less than $100,000, Kaléo, the manufacturer of Auvi-Q, pays the out-of-pocket costs for direct delivery. Costs for families with government insurance vary according to plan.
The manufacturer, Mylan, offers a discount card for two-packs of Mylan’s EpiPen or EpiPen Jr. Eligible consumers may benefit from a patient assistance program. Mylan offers a smaller discount card for its generic versions of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr.