New bill to help reduce the cost of an Epi-Pen

Epi-Pens(KKCO / KJCT)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:32 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Epi-Pens are to help those who have severe allergic reactions. But sometimes, getting your hands on them can cost a fortune. Colorado House Democrats are looking to change that.

On the morning of Friday, February 3, Democrats held a meeting to discuss a new bill aimed at making the Epi-Pen affordable. The bill will work in two different ways for the insured and uninsured.

The first part is for those who are uninsured. They can apply for an affordability program through the Division of Insurance.

The second part is for those who have insurance. In this instance, pharmacies will have to cap the price of an Epi-Pen. That price, if the bill passes, is $60.

Currently, Epi-Pen prices are at a record high, with the cost to obtain one ranging anywhere from $600-$700 for a pack of two. However, these prices are average and can vary by pharmacy depending on name brand versus generics.

“I think our pharmaceutical system are truly the poster child for runaway costs for no reason other than profits for pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurance companies. There’s no reason they need to be this expensive; they cost mere dollars to make and are sold for hundreds of dollars to consumers. And these are consumers that have to buy that medicine to stay alive,” said Dylan Robertson, a Democratic senator.

Representative Javie Mabrey stated that regardless of income, you should not have to choose between paying rent or making your bills on time and accessing life-saving medication.

The bill is supposed to help with the affordability of an Epi-Pen, so you worry less about the drug cost and instead focus on what’s essential, like rent and food. The Democrats hope to pass the bill soon and have it on governor Jared Polis’ desk for him to sign into law.