As EpiPen prices skyrocket, consumers and EMTs turn to syringes

As the costs of EpiPens and other auto injectors soar, many EMTs and some consumers resort to traditional syringes as a cheaper alternative, according to PBS Newshour reports.

The decision to use syringes is concerning for some physicians and patient advocates who warn that it is much more complicated to obtain the correct dosage.

Canonsburg, Pa.-based Mylan, which manufactures the EpiPen, raised the price of the instrument roughly 400 percent since 2004, according to a Bloomberg report. In 2004, a pack of two EpiPens cost about $100 in today's dollars; today, the same pack would be about $600.

While cheaper alternative do exist, they are not as popular with consumers. Sanofi, a French company based in Paris, marketed Auvi-Q — the EpiPen's main competitor — until 2015 when it was taken off the market. A similar device called Adrenaclick made by Amedra Pharmaceuticals in Horsham, Pa.,  was only prescribed a few hundred times, according to the PBS report.

The FDA has declined to approve a generic version of the EpiPen, reasoning that it was not equivalent and therefore could not be substituted when filling a prescription. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries applied to market a generic EpiPen, but was also rejected by the FDA in 2015.

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