As you may be aware, the price of auto injecting EpiPens has skyrocketed. This has left many people without a truly life-saving drug, that they were able to use on their own – even kids could do it. All drugs have an expiration date as noted on each container and required by law. Some drugs potency drastically declines after this date, and some drugs have a useable efficacy rate well after this date. I am not in any way suggesting that you use any drug past it’s expiration date, but you may want to check with the pharmacist or physician if you cannot afford a new one. See this article.
For those that don’t know, Epinephrine (with a layman’s term of adrenalin) is THE drug to stop a true anaphylactic reaction. This differs from an allergic reaction, where Benadryl can be of use. With people unable to obtain the auto injecting EpiPens at an affordable cost, lives can be lost. If they are prescribed these, it is for a damn good reason, and they need them. Common causes of anaphylaxis can be nuts, seafood, animals, bees/wasps/hornets, and environmental.
Just like there is a fire extinguisher everywhere you turn, so should there be an AED, and everyone should know how to perform CPR. We can save a lot of lives. Citizens that have a need for EpiPens can save themselves. It’s either that or they start to die in an unpleasant manner until an EMT or a paramedic arrive. I was once hiking to the summit of Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks. It’s the tallest peak in New York. One of the two friends I was with was allergic to bees and had been prescribed one of these small tools to save himself. Halfway up the mountain, he came to the shocking conclusion he had forgotten said device. I thought for about two seconds and quickly figured there was no one, and no way to get him epi should he be stung. We did summit that day, but it was always on my mind and I was constantly looking for threats that could harm my friend.
In the world of paramedics, we use these very small vials of epi that are broken open, the correct dosage drawn up, double checked and injected into the patient.
I don’t do purchasing, but am sure the syringe and epi cost less than $10 in that form. The big pharmaceutical companies are making bank on this. Auto-injectors are used for myriad of drugs including morphine, and 2-Pam Chloride and Atropine for organophosphate poisoning also known as a Mark 1 Kit for first responders. To make a profit that large over people’s lives is ridiculously cruel and shows that money runs the world. I guess it’s nothing new, but is frustrating to know that people can die at the expense of more profits for shareholders.
I have also been told that many pharmacies cannot keep the Narcan kits in stock. Another life-saving drug.
I hope your insurance can help with some of the cost of an EpiPen, or even better that you don’t need one at all. If you’re in doubt, always call 911. We will be your best chance at survival, even if you used the EpiPen once, you may need a second dose, and most certainly need to be followed up in an emergency department.