Metro parent says new savings card for EpiPen not enough to help control cost

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The price tag for a life-saving medicine that affects millions of people continues to soar.

Parents are outraged that a standard two-pack of EpiPens cost about $600. Now there are changes coming that might offer up to a 50-percent price cut.

“I remember when it was under $100, you know, the first few years. It was never over $100, but every time we get it filled now, it goes up and up and up,” said Tonia Nelsen.

Tonia Nelsen has bought EpiPens for her 10-year-old daughter Helena since she was 1. Refilling the prescription gets harder each year because of the cost. She just bought a two-pack in April.

“It was right around $240, which shocked me because the time before that it was around $130,” said Nelsen.

Parent company Mylan said it would provide a savings card that would cover up to half of the cost. That’s an increase to the $100 savings card it had been offering.

“I don’t think it’s enough. The $240 I paid last spring was with a coupon. It’s not enough. Epinephrine is not an expensive drug. I think its corporate greed and it’s wrong,” said Nelsen.

Dr. Jay Portnoy, the Director of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology at Children’s Mercy Hospital, recommends parts to look for alternatives like the Adrenaclick.

“It just looks different. It’s not the standard brand as a result it’s not as popular or widely used as EpiPen, but it works just as well,” he said.

He also said to shop around and compare prices with different pharmacies.

Nelson said she is ready to explore cheaper alternatives.

Mylan added that some relief will be offered to parents who have incomes below a certain level and lack insurance to cover the medicine.