Colorado EpiPen users could save hundreds in 2024

The EpiPen contains epinephrine to combat life-threatening allergies.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:31 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:39 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Coloradans could expect to see EpiPen prices decrease by 2024. That is, if a bill passed by the state House this week becomes law.

If the bill were to become law, insurance companies would be required to cap out-of-pocket costs at $60 for a two-pack of EpiPens.

The vote passed in the House this week by 47 to 15.

While this is only a preliminary vote, representatives who voted yes hope this is just one step in making life-saving medications accessible to all.

Sponsors say the manufacturing cost does not equate to the consumers’ charge.

“EpiPens right now cost $8 for the manufacturer to make,” said Democratic Rep. Javier Mabrey for House District 1. “Manufacturers are charging $700 for consumers to actually access them. We’ve heard from people across the state who are saying that this is the difference. Accessing this life-saving medication can make a difference of paying rent putting food on the table and so just like Colorado’s stepped up with insulin prices and we said this life-saving drug that isn’t costing to like manufacture that much to make. It should be accessible to Coloradans in an affordable way.”

The EpiPen contains epinephrine to combat life-threatening allergies like bee stings, food allergies or asthma.

This bill was inspired by an Insulin Affordability Program from 2021. In the same way lawmakers approved a cap on monthly insulin costs, EpiPen bill sponsors hope to make the emergency medication available at a low price to nearly one million individuals and families across the state.

One of the lawmakers against this bill said it is not the state’s job to cap the price of EpiPens.

“When it comes to EpiPens, there is more competition in the marketplace,” said Republican Rep. Matt Soper in Colorado’s House District 54. “It’s not life-sustaining. It’s for emergencies. We have seen prices fall in the past few years, and they will continue to fall. And it’s not the job of the state to come in and say we are going to put in an arbitrary cap here as we did with insulin.”

The bill now heads to the state Senate to be voted on before it can be sent to the governor’s office and be signed into law.