Cost of Lifesaving EpiPen Medicine Skyrockets - NBC 6 South Florida
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Cost of Lifesaving EpiPen Medicine Skyrockets

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    Cost of Lifesaving EpiPen Medicine Skyrockets

    People who need it say the EpiPen has become a huge out-of-pocket cost, running as much as $600 for a two-pack. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016)

    Justo Torres needs one. So does his wife.

    "It's a lifesaver," Torres said.

    The couple says they always have an EpiPen with them in case they need one. With a quick stab to the thigh, it can save the life of someone having a severe allergic reaction.

    Torres says his insurance covers it.

    "I'm one of the lucky ones, my insurance covers it," Torres said. "But what about the rest of the people?"

    People who need it are saying the EpiPen has become a huge out-of-pocket cost. It can run as much as $600 for a two-pack.

    Dr. Rolando Nunez with Miami’s Asthma y Alergia says he’s seeing the price increase affecting his patients.

    "To the point where some patients just can't afford it," Dr. Nunez said.

    He’s heard of patients with kids who need the EpiPen having to make difficult choices about how to spend their money.

    "It's not a choice that parents should have to decide," Nunez said. "Buying a medicine that is lifesaving or being able to make a car payment or being able to afford a mortgage payment for the month."

    Mylan is the company that produces the EpiPen. It has not commented on the price hike. But in a statement on its website it blames high deductible insurance plans that require people to pay more out-of-pocket for many drugs.

    Dr. Nunez is part of a growing chorus who doesn’t think that’s fair.

    "Patients that have medical insurance shouldn't have to, ideally, pay out of pocket for a medication that is lifesaving."

    Mylan does offer a coupon to help offset the cost for customers. But not everyone qualifies. Click here to see if you do.