And the food allergy journey continues;
Back to school, EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™, Health Insurance, Politics…
For the past 8 years, I have tried to create a safe environment for my child and other children with food allergies. Sometimes it feels like a fight and I get exhausted but I am quickly reminded that we must be the voices and remain strong. I like to approach my tasks and life with a kind heart but sometimes we are required to be Mama bears. That time has come and I need your help!
Back to school isn’t just buying school supplies. In addition to buying the school supplies, we are busy writing letters to other classroom parents informing them of our children’s allergy, educating their teachers and other school staff, visiting allergists, and filling epinephrine prescriptions. Most of us require several sets of epinephrine and they are not inexpensive. While epinephrine is NOT a cure, it could SAVE our child’s life if they are exposed to an allergen. I called my pharmacy this past week to REFILL my son’s AUVI-Q™ prescription to soon find out that our health insurance no longer covers the Auvi-Q™ epinephrine auto-injectors. The Target pharmacist asked me if I would like an EpiPen® instead. Remember I am REFILLING the prescription. The Auvi-Q™ is not new to us. I purchased our first sets on the first day they became available. While we still haven’t found a cure, I am grateful that technology and brilliant minds like the Edwards Brothers have brought us a new auto-injector, giving us options. So why are Auvi-Q™ epinephrine auto-injectors suddenly not being covered by health insurance companies? My local pharmacist said that it could be because they are new. Ummmm, so they covered them when they first became available last year. What has happened since then?
Have you noticed an increase in EpiPen® commercials? My 9yo son has even brought it to my attention. A couple years ago you did not see any and now I see several a day. It’s great that they are bringing awareness to allergies, helping our kids realize that they are not the only ones suffering from allergies but it does raise the question, why the increase? Could it be that they are being greatly effected by Sanofi’s Auvi-Q™ epinephrine auto-injectors.
As an active member of the food allergy community, I shared my struggles on Allergy Apparel’s Facebook Group Page only to find out that countless people are also being denied. I have also received a few emails from other food allergy parents alleging that ‘Mylan paid huge rebates to Express Scripts and other formularies this year to be the only epinephrine auto-injector listed. And has effectively blocked half the market from Sanofi.’
I hope that with a mission that reads, “Our history, our mission and our values tell the story of who we are as a company. We began as a pharmaceutical distributor, providing products to customers in smaller communities.
Today we’re one of the world’s leading generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies, with sales in approximately 140 countries and territories. And our dedication to providing access to medicine continues to grow after more than 50 years, “ that Mylan is NOT working to prevent families from having access. I can only hope that the it’s untrue and that we are all working together for the greater good.
Over the past 5 days I have gone back and forth between phone calls to allergists, pediatricians, pharmacies and my insurance company, I am currently waiting, with fingers and toes crossed, for preauthorization approval.
Sanofi now has an Auvi-Q™ pre-authorization form for people whose insurance is not covering by default. Also note, I was told both the “preauth” and the “exception” checkboxes need to be ticked.
Dr Julie Brown has also provided us with a letter listing the benefits of an Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector. This letter is written to assist you with requesting your Dr’s support of your request to receive an Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector.
And this is where I ask for your help. Please take a moment to download, modify if desired, sign and send to this letter to the President of Express Scripts.
I will continue my mission to help my son and other children with food allergies live healthy lives and flourish.