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EpiPen Prescriptions Could Be Used for a Cheaper Alternative Under a Proposed Bill

photo of epipen in box
The cost to purchase a two-pack of EpiPens rose from $100 in 2007 to around $600 last year.

Adults with documented medical histories of allergic reactions would find it’s easier and cheaper to get EpiPens under a bill Ohio lawmakers are considering.

Republican representative Derek Merrin’s bill would give pharmacists the ability to dispense epinephrine auto injectors to patients without a doctor’s prescription.

“What this would allow the pharmacists ability to do is really prevent adults from having to go into the doctor’s office every single year to get a prescription, pay the co-pays when they’ve already been on an epinephrine auto injector, many of them since their childhood.”

The price of EpiPens has skyrocketed to about $600 for a two-pack, and the devices need to be replaced regularly.  Merrin’s bill would also allow pharmacists to substitute a prescription written for an EpiPen with a less expensive auto injector, which is not currently classified as a generic for the brand name EpiPen.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.