The One Epipen Trick your Pharmacist Doesn’t Want You to Know
Don’t fill your next epipen without reading this first
There has been a lot of recent media coverage about the rising cost of Epipen. Most of it has been focused on inspiring outrage at Epipen’s cost and some of it has been more politically slanted. I am grateful that the media has helped identify and share the epipen cost-problem that most of you have already known about (you can read my overview here).
But where are the solutions?
In my prior article I shared my 7 best tips for epipen cost-savings based on my years of finding solutions for my patients. It was a good article and I do suggest you read it if you haven’t already.
But I have another tip today that is potentially HUGE for cost-saving!
The Expiration Date Problem
One of the biggest issues with Epipen is that they have an expiration date.
The benefit of Epipen’s expiration date: You know when the medicine is guaranteed to be at full strength.
The problem of Epipen’s expiration date: You are required to fill it once a year and have it not expire during the school year by most school regulations (even though an expired pen still has decent potency).
When you factor in Epipen’s cost, it becomes VERY important to make sure you are getting the full year from your prescription.
The One-Epipen Trick You NEED to Know
Although this isn’t necessarily an Epipen cost-saving trick, it is an Epipen cost-wasting one if you don’t follow it:
Make sure your Epipen actually expires one year from the month you get your prescription!
I have had many patients who went and got a new prescription for Epipen and then got home and saw that the expiration date was only 9 or 10 months later!
The Epipen is still the same cost, but you’re getting less than a year out of it before you need a refill!
But you can’t do this at home and then return the epipen afterwards. In fact, you cannot walk away from the counter or else you cannot return the epipen!
That means that when you get your Epipen prescription and it is in a bag, you need to open it while still standing at the pharmacy counter and ensure that the Epipen’s expiration date is one year from purchase!
Read that again: you must check your Epipen’s expiration date BEFORE you leave the pharmacy counter!
Why Isn’t This Automatically Done?
I don’t know the answer to this. I’m not sure if this happens by mistake or if there are pharmacists who have a cost-incentive to give you their supply of Epipen instead of getting you a more current one.
If anyone knows a good pharmacist, please share this post and ask them. I’ll update this post with their answer.
My opinion is that there are probably a few pharmacists who will give you their supply regardless of expiration date, but most of the time it is a just a simple mistake. A simple but costly mistake.
So next time you pick up an Epipen prescription, make sure the expiration date is one year from when you are getting the prescription!
- It’s written on the pens as well as on the box
- If you have any questions, just ask your pharmacist
Question for You
I have one question for you today: have you ever gotten an Epipen with less than a year left until expiration? If so, please share your story below or on our Facebook page. The more people realize how common this is, the more we can help everyone with an Epipen prescription not fall victim to this problem.