Got a food allergy? You may be in big trouble

Got a food allergy? You may be in big trouble

The cost of EpiPens are going through the roof, and a major organization is speaking out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has weighed in on the growing controversy over Mylan’s decision to jack up the price of the EpiPen, which millions of people — many of them children — rely on to keep from dying from a severe allergic reaction. The price of the EpiPen has skyrocketed to $500 or more for a two-pack, and it is financially harming families who have no choice but to pony up for the medication.

AAP President Benard Dreyer said that it would take “urgent solutions” to deal witht he problem. He called on families, doctor and distributors, as well as government agencies, to act quickly on the issue. AAP recommends that children keep two epinephrine auto-injectors with them if they have serious food allergies.

Pediatricians may want to look for local pharmacies that have the generic of Adrenaclick, which is similar to the EpiPen and often cheaper. Patients may alos need to look at differen thealth insurance plans, and be more aggressive about appealing when insurance denies coverage.

“Urgent solutions are needed,” said AAP President Benard P. Dreyer, M.D., FAAP, in the statement. “Now is the time for all interested stakeholders — families, doctors, manufacturers, distributors, payers and government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration — to act quickly to alleviate the financial hardships faced by families. Every child’s safety is of equal importance, and no parent should have to worry about how to pay for access to life-saving allergy medication for their child”

Michael J. Welch, M.D., FAAP, FAAAAI, past chair of the AAP Section on Allergy and Immunology, said pediatricians need to take action.

“The pediatrician has to be the advocate for these patients who are affected by this and there are some things they can do,” he said.

Added Dreyer: “The high cost of these devices imposes a significant financial burden on families and places an obstacle in these patients’ access to lifesaving medical care where they live, learn and play. The AAP will continue to work with Congress and press the Food and Drug Administration to find a way to make the product affordable to the families who need this medicine.”

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