Drugmaker Mylan has come under fire for hiking the price of its EpiPen, an epinephrine autoinjector for the treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions, by more than 450% since 2007. A pair of shots now costs around $600. But the University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) system, headquartered in Salt Lake City, has found a workaround that could provide a blueprint for other cost-conscious hospitals, according to an article posted on the Martketplace website.
For years, UUHC has stocked dozens of expensive EpiPens in many parts of its system, which includes four hospitals, a cancer institute, and 10 clinics. A $300 EpiPen was often close at hand. But now the EpiPen is giving way to EpiKits, which contain a vial of epinephrine, two needles, two syringes, alcohol wipes, and instructions. The kits cost around $10 each.
EpiPens feature an autoinjector system designed for consumers. EpiKits, on the other hand, are intended for medical staff who are used to handling syringes.
The EpiKits are expected to save UUHC approximately $35,000 a year––a drop in the bucket for the $3 billion health system.
Dr. Aaron Kesselheim of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told Marketplace that if the UUHC initiative is successful, he could see EpiKits catching on at hospitals across the country––and the modest economic impact could become a major one.
Mylan did not respond to a request for comments on the Marketplace article.
Source: Marketplace; November 2, 2016.