Lauren had no idea she was allergic to shellfish until she went out with her friend Rosie for a late lunch one afternoon. Lauren always had a distaste for fish, and avoided ordering dishes with seafood because she was not a fan of the smell. But when she was out with Rosie, they went to a fancy seaside restaurant famous for their softshell crab sandwiches, and knowing the restaurant’s reputation for fine food, she decided it was time to give crab a try.
Lauren thought the sandwich was delicious, but as soon as she was done eating, she realized her face was getting really warm and itchy. She initially thought the warmth of her face was caused by the glass of red wine she had with lunch, but she soon realized that something else was wrong when she started wheezing. Lauren had asthma as a young child, but she had grown out of the wheezing many years ago. After another minute she realized she was having trouble breathing, so her friend Rosie decided to call 911.
While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Lauren’s throat and tongue started swelling and breathing became increasingly difficult. The ambulance arrived just in time, as she felt like it was becoming impossible to breathe, and the paramedics were able to give her an injection of epinephrine to stop the allergic reaction she seemed to be having.
The paramedics then took her to the emergency department of the local hospital, where the doctors did a work up and confirmed that she is severely allergic to shellfish. Lauren had no idea she had this sort of allergy, but when she thought about it, she remembered a time at a potluck when she had a bite of a dish she didn’t recognize and got a very itchy rash all over her body from it that lasted for days, and she later found out the dish had crab in it.
The doctor in the emergency department prescribed Lauren an Epipen, injectable epinephrine to use in case of a future allergic reaction like this. The doctor told her she must carry it around with her at all times in case she were to accidentally eat shellfish again. He also gave her a prescription for 25 tablets of prednisone 20mg to help decrease her swelling and another prescription for 40 tablets of hydroxyzine pamoate 25mg, an antihistamine, to help with the allergic reaction she was recovering from.
The doctor printed out her prescriptions and she took them to her local Safeway pharmacy where she gets her prescriptions filled. Lauren was nervous about the cost of the medications she was prescribed, as she had cancelled the prescription portion of her insurance plan since it was costing her too much, and she wasn’t taking any regular medications so she didn’t seem to need it. She waited around the store while the pharmacy was filling her prescriptions, and she was shocked at the total cost of the medications at the cash register. Her prednisone prescription would cost $32.99, and the hydroxyzine would be $15.99. However the most important medication was going to be the most expensive one: the EpiPen, which would treat a future allergic reaction, was going to cost $556! Her entire medication regimen for this allergic reaction would cost her over $600.
Save on Treatments for Allergic Reactions
Lauren was so upset over the cost of her medications that she called her husband who came to the pharmacy to help her. Her husband discussed their options with the pharmacist, but he was told that there was no way to lower the prices of her medications. Lauren and her husband decided this couldn’t possibly be true, so they went home to do some research on the internet.
In her search, Lauren came across the Prescription Discount Card from Discount Drug Network. The website for this discount card said she would be able to get 10-85% off of prescription items, if she signed up for the card. She was skeptical at first, but since she was so eager to find a lower price for her medications, she decided to at least check out the prices that were offered. The website had a handy tool to find out the prices of her medications at any participating pharmacy in her area or beyond. She used the Discount Drug Network’s Price Finder to look up the prices of these products at her local Safeway, and she was pleasantly surprised at what she found. The EpiPen was $194.75, $362 lower than the price she was quoted by the pharmacist! The prednisone would cost $11.25, saving her $21 off of the list price. Lastly, the hydroxyzine would cost $10.53, $5 less than the price she was quoted by Safeway, for a new total of $216.53, saving her $388!
Lauren kept looking around the internet for lower prices on her medications, but in the end the lowest price she could find was offered by the Discount Drug Network, using the Prescription Discount Card. She entered her information to obtain access to the discount and printed out her copy of the Prescription Discount Card to bring to the pharmacy. She was skeptical about whether this would work, but when the pharmacy technician applied the Prescription Discount Card to her medications, the prices came out exactly as they were quoted online.
She was happy about the discounts she would receive by using the Prescription Discount Card, but the EpiPen was still pretty expensive even after the discount. Lauren had spent a lot of money on renovating her home recently, and many unexpected charges had arisen once construction had started. She was trying to save money for some future home decorating items, but spending money on an EpiPen instead was clearly more important to her health. Lauren decided to pick up her prednisone and hydroxyzine prescriptions to get started on those two medications. She also decided to go to her primary care doctor to see if it was absolutely necessary to carry around an EpiPen for this condition she recently developed, as she was not looking forward to paying such a high cost to have an extra thing she can’t leave home without.
When Lauren went to her primary care doctor, he told her that it would certainly be in her best interest to carry around an EpiPen – what if this sort of thing happened again in a place where emergency medical help could not get to her within a reasonable amount of time? She agreed that this sort of situation would not be good, and could potentially result in her death. She discussed the high cost of her EpiPen at the pharmacy with her doctor, even after the discount offered by the Prescription Discount Card, and asked if he had any alternative ideas so she could carry epinephrine with her and also not spend almost $200 each time she needed a new one.
Her doctor mentioned that there is now a generic form of the EpiPen, though its mechanism is slightly different from the EpiPen. Lauren didn’t care about the mechanism, she just wanted the life saving benefits of epinephrine for the lowest cost possible. Her doctor wrote her a prescription for the generic form, and gave a printed version of the prescription to Lauren to take to her pharmacy to see what the price would be.
Lauren took her prescription for the generic EpiPen to her Safeway pharmacy where she picked up her other two medications, and asked the pharmacy technician to check what the price would be for this version of epinephrine. After a few minutes, the technician said it would cost $383.99 for the generic epinephrine without any discounts or insurance! Lauren asked the technician to check the price with her new Prescription Discount Card from the Discount Drug Network, and the technician was even surprised at the savings using this discount. The Prescription Discount Card brought the price of the generic EpiPen down to $142!
Lauren went home to check the Price Checker again on the Prescription Discount Card’s website to see if it would be cheaper for her to buy her medication at any of the other local pharmacies, but it turned out that Safeway had the cheapest price. She went back to the pharmacy to buy her prescription, and was able to rest easier knowing that she had lifesaving epinephrine in her purse to use at a moment’s notice.
Discount cards such as the Prescription Discount Card from the Discount Drug Network come to the rescue to help consumers with high drug costs, such as those who have cancelled expensive prescription insurance plans. Depending on the pharmacy the consumer uses, discounts of 10-85% can be applied to both generic and brand name products. The Prescription Discount Card can be used in place of insurance, and is accepted at over 65,000 pharmacies nationwide. Lauren was so happy with the price she received by using the Prescription Discount Card that she ordered a hard copy of the card to keep in her wallet in case she needs it again in the future.