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Illinois Now Requires That Insurance Companies Cover EpiPens For Children

Amy Pilkington 14 Aug 2019

When I was growing up, EpiPens were something you assumed people would have access to when they needed them. I mean, it was something we were all given basic instruction about, so that if a friend was in danger, we would know how to help.

But EpiPens have been in the news a lot more recently — and not for good reasons.

Back in 2014-2015, pharmaceutical company Mylan raised the price of a 2-pack of EpiPens from $100 to $600.

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Which made people understandably upset. At the time, the company argued that a package redesign, marketing campaign, and issues with insurance companies were the cause of the increase.

When they released a cheaper, generic option in 2016 it was still $300.

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Thankfully, things have begun to show signs of hope for people with deadly allergies.

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In 2018, the FDA approved a new generic option from Teva Pharmaceuticals.

However, instead of providing a cheaper option or lowering prices through competition, the company opted to charge the same amount, $300, Mylan does for their generic EpiPens.

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But while the federal government has been slow to take action, Illinois decided to become the first state to do something.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law House Bill 3435, which mandates that insurance companies must provide coverage for "medically necessary epinephrine injectors for persons 18 years of age or under."

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This is a huge step for families with children who suffer from severe allergies.

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"No child with a serious allergy should be without an epinephrine injector because they cannot afford one," said Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, who sponsored the bill.

Which is an idea I think most of us can get behind and hopefully other states follow suit.

h/t: CNN

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