If you or someone you know has food allergies or insect allergies, you should see an allergist (special doctor trained in allergies) to learn if you need to carry epinephrine (commonly known as the Epi Pen) with you. Most families I know with food allergies are told to carry epinephrine (2 doses at all times). When a severe reaction hits, this medication can be critical for survival.
I’ve learned you cannot predict the severity of a food allergy reaction based on previous reactions. I’ve witnessed reactions that are mild for one exposure and very serious the next. In other words, I can’t just expect it will be the same type of reaction each time and need to prepare for serious reactions.
Many people KNOW they should carry an Epi Pen for severe allergies, but don’t actually do it for a number of reasons. I’ve heard:
- It’s expired and I need a new prescription
- They are so expensive
- I’ll just give an antihistamine or call 911 if needed
- I keep forgetting it at home
Friends – NO MORE EXCUSES!
The reason the FDA gives average people like you and me auto-injector needles with epinephrine in them is because people suffering from a severe allergic reaction need the medicine administered IMMEDIATELY – survival rates are highest when the epi is given in under 2 minutes from onset of symptoms. This means we need to act quickly and not “wait for the paramedics” or try to drive the person to the hospital ourselves.
Just read this story of the 11 year old boy who died recently of a food allergy reaction when he accidentally popped a pretzel with peanut butter in it into his mouth. He spit it out right away but started having symptoms of a reaction. Unfortunately he did NOT have an Epi Pen with him at a friend’s house that day and by the time his mom was able to get him home to his Epi Pen (four minutes away) his throat closed and he couldn’t breathe. This young boy tragically died. It breaks my heart and serves as a painful reminder how important it is to ALWAYS have epinephrine on hand.
You can get the Epi Pen for free through the end of 2014.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the EpiPen and to celebrate and increase access to epinepherine for families, schools and communities, Mylan Specialty (makers of EpiPen) is giving away $0 co-pay cards to anyone, which can be redeemed at your pharmacy to cover the co-pay portion of the prescription cost.
“Mylan has a long-standing dedication to increasing access to epinephrine auto-injectors through innovative access solutions such as the EpiPen4Schools program, and we’re pleased to continue that commitment by introducing our $0 Co-Pay Offer,” said Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan.
How to get the Epi Pen for free
Even though I knew about this promotion for some time, I wanted to wait to write about it until I went through the entire process myself and could tell you first hand that it works and is not a scam or over-hyped promotion. I went through each of these steps and was able to get my EpiPen 2 pack for free and you can, too. Here’s how:
1. Visit epipen.com and look for the $0 copay offer graphic. Click the link to download their card right away and print from your computer. Or you can call 1-800-395-3376 and they will mail you the $0 Co-Pay Offer card. It took about 2 weeks for me to receive mine, so the online version is definitely quicker!
2. Make sure you have a valid prescription for an Epi Pen or Epi Pen Jr. (the card works for both). If you don’t have one, renew through your pharmacy or talk to your doctor.
3. When you go to pick up your prescription, hand over the $0 Co-Pay Offer card along with your insurance info. This worked for me – I was able to walk out without paying a cent. Which was awesome, because typically I pay about $100 for each prescription.
TIP: Before you walk out of the pharmacy, make sure the prescription is good for 12 months and that you have a pharmacy label on each of the Epi-Pens if you plan to store them at school or drop them off at child care. I’ve refused to take Epi Pens that expire in under 11 months before.
The $0 Co-Pay Offer card is good for as many Epi Pens as you need through the end of the year. NOW is the time to get an Epi Pen if you don’t already have one or two — or stock up for an extra set for school.Fine Print From Mylan Specialty: About the “$0 Co-Pay Offer” Card Mylan Specialty is excited to offer the 25th anniversary “$0 Co-Pay Offer” card. The offer is available to both cash-paying and commercially insured patients, including those with a high deductible. Certain restrictions apply. The “$0 Co-Pay Offer” (with maximum benefit up to $100 per each EpiPen 2-Pak) is valid for up to three EpiPen 2-Pak cartons or EpiPen Jr 2-Pak cartons per prescription. Eligible patients can use the offer an unlimited number of times until the expiration date, December 31, 2014. The co-pay card is available through physicians across the country. Patients can contact Mylan Customer Service at 1-800-796-9526 with any questions, and can obtain additional information about the co-pay card at EpiPen.com. In addition to this offer, EpiPen Auto-Injector continues to have more than 97% Tier 2 Preferred Commercial Coverage. Friends – Please share this post with anyone you know with severe allergies.
You can find more of my food allergy posts, tips & recipes on my Food Allergy page. I’d also love to connect with you on my Marketing Mama facebook page and twitter. This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.
I am not affiliated with Mylan Specialties and received no compensation for this post. I was a guest of Mylan Specialties earlier this year as an attendee at a special event they hosted for food allergy bloggers.
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