Local EMS cuts costs with alternative to pricey EpiPen

King County EMS James Duren on the Epi Kit the department developed as a less expensive alternative to the EpiPen.

Local EMS Develops DIY EpiPen Alternative for $25

By Health Care FOXBusiness

With the continuing controversy over the skyrocketing price of the life-saving EpiPen device, one local EMS developed their own Epi Kit as a cost-saving yet effective alternative. King County EMS James Duren weighed in on how the kit got its start.

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 “About four years ago we looked at the cost of the EpiPen and we looked at for a more efficient and cheaper alternative and we came up with a kit which is syringes, band aids and a vile of adrenaline or epinephrine,” Duren told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. 

Duren then broke down the cost of the kit.

“We use standard supplies, we use just a hard case and we have a couple of syringes in there and some adrenaline.  So, the cost of the components of the kit itself are about $15 and then the cost of the epinephrine or adrenaline is somewhere between $5 and $10 per vile.  So, if you put the two together you’re kind of looking at a total of about $25.”

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Duren explained that the kit has been a huge success since its first trials during a pilot program in 2013.

“It’s having great success, we started a pilot project in about 2013 and we had about 110 uses in that pilot project for King County.  We have about 30 different EMS agencies and about 4,500 personnel which we trained and since then we’re averaging about 140 to 150 applications of the kit a year as compared to the EpiPen prior to our kit, which we were only using about 40 times a year.”

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