Epi WHAT? The High Cost of Having a Food Allergy Child

Back to school used to be my favorite time of year. Fresh beginnings. Everyone has their clothes perfectly pressed and their new socks, shoes, backpacks, lunch kits and supplies perfectly organized. It’s the one time in the year when excitement fills the air. The smell of the classroom offers promise to the children and pride to the parents as they mark another year grown in the books.

IMG_1699Pause that for a moment and go with me through my day. My son has a severe allergy (you know where this is going) that requires us to have EpiPens on hand at home, in the school office, in the classroom … essentially one for any place he might be. They expire after 1 year and I have made it our routine to fill the prescription at the start of each school year. It’s just one more back-to-school box to check for us. Until this year.

This year has been very different. The price of an EpiPen has skyrocketed! Like HOLY HELL expensive. The medicine isn’t expensive, but the company who makes the injection device has gauged prices SO high that to have one for home and 2 for school (one for the classroom and one for the school nurse) means that we have to pay over $1,000 for a medicine that will expire in a year and we pray to God he will never actually need, but has to have just in case.

There are coupons out there and they can be helpful for some families, but we were not one of the lucky ones. We have a deductible plan rather than a co-pay, which means that we get a discount, but it’s still OUTRAGEOUS! The bottom line here is simply that there is no real reason why a life-saving medicine and its accessories should cost this much. Period. EpiPen can blame the corrupt system all they want, but they’re the ones charging $600 for 2 doses of a medicine that costs around $2. I’ve got a knot in my stomach just thinking about doing this again next year.

EpiPen has really got to figure this out. It’s unacceptable and criminal what they’re putting people with allergy kids through. It’s a monopoly on a medicine that we have to have. It could literally be the difference between life and death for our son, and they know that people will find a way to pay. Awful. Just awful.

To all my fellow allergy parents out there, I’m with you. Rather than spending my week prepping for our AMAZING Moms Night Out that we’ve been planning for 6 months, I was trying to find creative ways to get my son medicine that I pray he will never have to use. I know that you all have been struggling too.

I can’t get my week back, but I sure hope that together our voices will be heard.



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