Douglas ESD nurse finds path to EpiPens for schools
As patients and health care providers have been reeling from the recent price hikes in the EpiPen, a Douglas County Eduation Service District school nurse has found a way to keep local schools supplied with the medication at a huge cost savings.
Barb Hofford, one of two school nurses employed by Douglas ESD, was as stunned as most American consumers when news hit that the list price of EpiPens had jumped by as much as 400 percent to about $600 per pack of two injections. Produced by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the EpiPen is an epinephrine autoinjector used to treat severe allergic reactions to bee stings, food and other sources of anaphylactic reactions.
Hofford did some research and discovered a grant program offered jointly by Mylan and BioRidge Pharma that provides EpiPens for schools at no charge. Through the program, she ordered two sets of EpiPens for every school in Douglas County excluding those in Reedsport, which is outside Douglas ESD’s service boundaries. The program represents a savings of $1,200 for each of the 45 schools – a total of $54,000.
“Sometimes the public doesn’t realize the role ESDs have in serving children and schools, and in saving money for districts,” said Douglas ESD Superintendent Michael Lasher. “This is just another example of how the ESDs find and leverage resources to provide value to schools and districts.”