A top insurer just dropped its EpiPen coverage. Now what?

Not so fast! You may be seeing EpiPen headlines like this all over news websites right now and you’re starting to freak out. It’s not as bad as it sounds though.

Yes it’s true, one of the nation’s top insurers, Cigna, announced it is dropping coverage for the brand version of Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ lifesaving drug. But it’s ok, because they have shifted to offer coverage for the EpiPen generic, Epinephrine Injection, USP.

Learn more about the new generic.

It is common for insurance companies to change their coverage from pricey brand drugs to less expensive options, upon the release of a generic.

A Cigna spokeswoman, Karen Eldred, told CNN.com “The generic version, available now in pharmacies, has the same drug formulation and device functionality as the branded medication, but at a substantial cost savings.”

Late last year, Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced it would offer a half-priced generic version after the company received widespread criticism from consumers, the media and government officials, that the price was too high.

Read more about Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ visit to Congress here.

Brief history of the EpiPen price increase.

In 2007, the price for two pens was about $100. When 2012 came around, the price was raised to around $218 and in 2014 the price was raised to $350. Then in 2015, EpiPen’s cost climbed to $460 for two pens. Finally, prices reached a critical mass when the cost for two EpiPen skyrocketed to $608 in 2016.

After that, Mylan Pharmaceuticals began offering a generic version of EpiPen that costs consumers $300 for two pens. Many wonder why this wasn’t offered sooner.  Others feel the price for this lifesaving drug is still too high, especially since Mylan recommends replacing it once a year.

Aren’t there other alternatives to lower EpiPen costs?

There are absolutely other alternatives to lower EpiPen costs. They aren’t always cheaper than the EpiPen’s new official generic though. Here is a list of alternatives and their corresponding price.

EpiPen Brand Alternatives
Adrenaclick Price: $463.32
Auvi-q Auto Injector: No price currently listed. Will be released in the first half of 2017. Read More.

EpiPen Generic Alternatives
Epinepherine Price: $292.30 (Adrenaclick’s generic)
Epinephrine Injection, USP Price: $300

CVS recently announced that it will offer two pens of Epinephrine, which is the the generic version of Adrenaclick, for $109.99.

What about EpiPen coupons?

EpiPen coupons are available through search tools like LowestMed, but they may not always lower EpiPen costs like a generic or brand alternative would.

A wide variety of EpiPen alternatives are becoming available.

As the years go by, more and more alternatives are becoming available to lower EpiPen costs. Just this year, consumers will see the Auvi-Q Auto Injector return to the market.

The best thing you can do is to keep up on the latest information and always shop around for your medications to find the lowest price. Also, be sure to bookmark our blog in your web browser, since we’ll be updating it with EpiPen alternative information as it becomes available.