COLUMBUS — State Representative Bill Dean (R-Xenia) announced passage Friday of House Bill 101, the Epinephrine Accessibility Act, which seeks to make epinephrine auto-injectors more affordable and accessible for Ohioans who rely on the medication to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.
House Bill 101, sponsored by State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), allows pharmacists to substitute a pharmaceutical equivalent epinephrine auto-injector for another auto-injector. Currently, these auto-injectors are unable to be substituted with a generic prescription or other brand name auto-injector under state law in most instances.
“This common-sense bill provides greater access to the free market and lowers costs for those who suffer from severe allergies,” Rep. Dean said. “By reducing the burden for these patients, the bill ensures that each person can take ownership for managing a critical aspect of their care.”
National news coverage recently shed light on the skyrocketing price of the life-saving device commonly known as EpiPen, which has increased nearly 500 percent in recent years, bringing the retail price to its current rate of more than $600.
For the many Ohioans at risk of anaphylactic shock, epinephrine delivered by an auto-injector is a medical necessity that oftentimes serves as a life-saving solution. Under this bill, consumers will have increased ability to secure the best epinephrine auto-injector at a competitive price, rather than being forced to purchase the most expensive product on the market. In some instances, House Bill 101 could help patients save as much as $500.
The Epinephrine Accessibility Act was passed with bipartisan support and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.