If you suffer from severe allergies you know the EpiPen. At our house, it's the sting from a wasp that is the inspiration to always have an EpiPen on hand. For many other families having that first line of defense handy in the event of an allergic reaction is a medical necessity. Up until just recently, it could have also qualified as a financial hardship.

The price of an EpiPen was basically controlled by one company, Mylan. That company has come under intense scrutiny for basically gouging consumers with the price of this protection. Now, there is an approved generic form of the "pen" that has been approved by the FDA and will be available for consumers to purchase at what should be a substantially lower price.

While Teva Pharmaceuticals has not officially announced a price a spokesperson for the company did suggest that the generic pen would be significantly lower in price than the name brand.  Just for reference, many generic drugs cost 80% less than their brand name counterparts.

Just to be clear the big hang up in getting a generic that doctors can freely substitute with the brand name "pen" had less to do with medication and was more about delivery. The drug, epinephrine has been around for decades, the unique injectable delivery system patented by EpiPen seemed to be the biggest stumbling block for manufacturers to figure out.

If you or someone in your family is an allergy sufferer make sure you ask your doctor about switching to the generic option. If your doctor agrees the generic could provide the medication you need when you need it, it could save you a lot of money.

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