The High Cost of Epinephrine Autoinjectors and Possible Alternatives

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2017 May-Jun;5(3):665-668.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2016.12.018. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Abstract

Epinephrine autoinjectors provide potentially life-saving therapy for pediatric and adult subjects with systemic allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. However, the cost of these devices, specifically the EpiPen (Mylan, Canonsburg, Pa), is increasing exponentially. Epinephrine autoinjectors are commonly prescribed in the United States but are not readily available worldwide. Alternatives for the self-administration of epinephrine exist and should be considered for patients who cannot afford or do not have access to these devices. The epinephrine prefilled syringe, stored in an eyeglass or pencil case, is a safe and viable option for the self-administration of epinephrine. Epinephrine prefilled syringes may not be as ideal as using autoinjectors but are superior to patients living without access to this medication.

Keywords: Ampule; Anaphylaxis; Cost; Epinephrine; Epinephrine autoinjectors; Prefilled syringe; Price; Systemic allergic reaction.

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / etiology
  • Anaphylaxis / prevention & control*
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use*
  • Fees, Pharmaceutical
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Self Administration
  • Syringes
  • United States / epidemiology

Substances

  • Epinephrine