Expensive EpiPen impacts local family

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 00:15:03-04

Parents of kids with severe allergies are facing a new challenge this school year, the cost of lifesaving medication.
In fact, the medication -- epinephrine -- isn't expensive, but the auto injection systems are.
And thanks to less insurance coverage and a huge increase in price, many parents are scrambling to find an alternative
Steve Tubbs has two young kids with severe allergies.
"It could cost 1,800 to 2,100 dollars a year to keep both kids with EpiPens where they need them."
The combination of less insurance coverage and a huge increase in the price of EpiPens has Tubbs scouring the internet for alternatives.
"100 to 200 dollars, I'll eat that.  But 600 to 700 dollars to save a kid’s life, that's ridiculous."
The cost of EpiPens -which is a brand name - has gone up 480 percent since 2009 when epipens cost 100 dollars.
Now they cost about 600.
The drug itself - epinephrine -- accounts for only about a dollar of that.
"It doesn’t sound like it costs more to produce, it sounds like they just want more money."
Tubbs found out there are other epinephrine auto injectors that cost about 200 dollars less and he may qualify for additional savings.
But that doesn't make him any less frustrated with the company that raised the price of EpiPens.
"Do you feel like you're being ripped off?” asked reporter. 
“Yes, I do.  Especially, since you need it to save a kid’s life." Said Tubbs.