The company that owns the EpiPen patent, Mylan, is promising a generic version of the allergic reaction treatment that would come at a lower price, but some people in the Tampa Bay Area have already found an alternative: the overseas drug market.
"It's terrible they can charge $600 to one customer in the Unites States, but just $180 to someone in England," says Bill Hepscher, owner of the Canadian Medstore in the Tampa Bay Area.
Hepscher compares Mylan's high prices in the United States as "the definition of holding the gun to someone's head," since parents of severely allergic children basically have no choice but to pay for the high price of the EpiPen.
Hepscher's Canadian Medstore, with locations in Tampa, Lakeland, Largo, Tarpon springs, and headquartered in Zephyrhills, will instead buy EpiPen and other drugs through arrangements they've made with pharmacies in Canada, England and Australia; countries that allow insurance companies to negotiate prices with drug companies, leading to lower prices across the board for pharmaceutical drugs.
Canadian Medstore does not stock drugs, and is not a pharmacy. Instead it essentially works as a middle-man, helping patients with a prescription from a U.S. doctor buy their drugs through a foreign pharmacy that follows the same guidelines as those in America. That pharmacy then ships those drugs directly to the patient customer. Hepscher buys EpiPens, for instance, from England.
Hepscher believes the media attention brought on by the high EpiPen prices could lead to a whole new group of people embracing his legal and cheaper method of buying some prescription drugs.
The Canadian Medstore HQ in Zephyrhills is located at 38168 Medical Center Ave. You can contact them by calling 813-788-2007.
Fore more on alternatives to the EpiPen, click HERE.