Study: Out-of-pocket EpiPen spending jumps 124% in 7 years

The amount patients pay out-of-pocket for Mylan's life-saving EpiPen device increased drastically since 2007, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers used the Truven MarketScan Commerical Claims and Encounters database to analyze figures for 191.2 million patients with private medical insurance from 2007 to 2014.

Here are three study findings.

1. While the rate of EpiPen prescriptions filled remained fairly steady in the seven-year period, average annual out-of-pocket spending per patient for an EpiPen was $75.50 in 2014, marking a 124 percent increase from $33.80 in 2007.

2. The annual rate of total spending for EpiPens per patient increased from $123.90 to $468.70, representing a 278 percent increase from 2007 to 2014.

3. Researchers cite aggressive drug pricings and inadequate insurance coverage policies as the primary reasons for the large increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

"The bottom line is that drug manufacturers and insurers should not force individuals and families to pay high amounts out-of-pocket for life-saving drugs like EpiPen," senior author Rena Conti, PhD, associate professor in the departments of pediatrics and public health sciences at the University of Chicago told Science Daily. "These pricing practices erode patient and public health."

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