NY EMS agency drops EpiPens over rising costs

By switching to “Check & Inject” kits, the agency will save around $40,000

By EMS1 Staff

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Due to the rising costs of EpiPens, a New York agency has decided to cease the use and purchase of the drug.

AMR Rural Metro, according to WKBW, does not receive a discount on EpiPens, and pays around $700 for a set of two auto-injectors. Since each ambulance is required by law to be stocked with two adult and two pediatric EpiPens, it costs the company around $42,000 to keep all of their ambulances stocked with the life-saving drug.

“I checked the price, and was like ‘wow,’”said Scott Karaszewski, Chief EMS Officer of AMR Rural Metro. “It went from 400 to 700 and I’m just wondering, when will it stop?”

The company will switch to “Check & Inject” kits this fall. The kits will include a vial of epinephrine, a syringe and a needle. Karaszewski said the agency only uses a few EpiPens each year, since many patients are able to administer their own dose of epinephrine by the time paramedics arrive.

More than 400 agencies in New York have purchased the new kits.

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