OKLAHOMA CITY– Outrage over the cost of life saving Epipens is hitting home as one mom finds herself paying an outrageous amount to keep her children safe from serious food allergies.
The drug company that makes Epipen is under fire for charging patients more than $600. The generic version, announced Monday, will cost $300.
“We have triplet boys who are 11 and a half,” parent Nancy Cuff said. “Two are identical. Austin and Brandon, Carson is fraternal, and then we have a a little girl who just turned 10. Her name is Kristen.”
But they all have one thing in common – their food allergies.
“All of them are allergic to milk, tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, coconut,” she said.
Early on, the Cuffs realized the triplets needed soy formula, and things became more noticeable when they started introducing solid foods.
“They started having what the doctor called failure to thrive,” Cuff said. “ Not gaining weight. Sick.”
Allergy testing revealed a lifetime battle.
“It’s terrifying as a parent,” Cuff said. “This January Austin did have an anaphylactic reaction. At this time we still don’t know what caused it, because we ate at home something we’ve eaten several times before.”
They rushed him to the ER where the Epipen was used.
“You just remove the top and you just and stab it into your thigh,” she said.
Throughout the years, the family’s watched the price of them go up by hundreds of dollars from about $150 per pack to $633.
“Thankfully our copay is about 75 dollars per pack, and then we purchase eight of those each year,” Cuff said. “It’s 600 dollars. and that’s if we don’t have to use any.”
A new generic will cost about half the price.
“My number one concern would be is it as easy to use, and is it going to deliver the same medicine just as effective as the Epipen,” she said.
The new generic will be available within the next few weeks and is so similar to the Epipen it does not need FDA approval.