LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The dramatic increase in the price of EpiPens has doctors in Louisville concerned about the financial burden and risk to patients.

In 2007, EpiPens cost about $100 for two, without insurance. Today the price is more than $600.

Doctors say the price increase means some patients may have access to fewer pens putting them at greater risk.

“People are having to make decisions saying, OK, I can’t afford three of these. I can afford one,” said Dr. Rex Lagerstrom with Norton Healthcare.

Accessibility is important because the devices should be used as quickly as possible. The injection of Epinephrine can save someone’s life during an allergic reaction. Many people have them placed in multiple locations.

Doctor Lagerstrom says price increases are becoming very common.

“Drug companies are buying each other, they’re buying up rights to generics, they’re buying an ever-shrinking market in a way and they get to dictate the prices,” Dr. Lagerstrom said.

CVS Pharmacy has announced an EpiPen alternative for about $110. It became available at all stores just last week. Doctors hope the competition keeps prices down.

EpiPens expire, so patients have to constantly buy new ones making the long-term cost more expensive.  

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