The Wisconsin Capitol would manage prices for epi-pens in the state should legislators pass and Gov. Tony Evers signs a recently introduced bill.
Rep. Robyn Vining, D-Wauwatosa, is pushing legislation to allow pharmacists to substitute generic epinephrine pens for patients. She says that could help neutralize cost swings for name-brand epi-pens.
"One year, an epinephrine prescription could be $15 and the next year it could be $100, at the same pharmacy with the same health insurance," Vining said. "For people who suffer from severe allergies, access to epinephrine is not a choice – it is a life or death situation. When access to epinephrine is limited by high costs, families are left to choose between their life-saving medication and everyday needs, like groceries."
Vining’s proposal would also have the state buy epi-pens for every ambulance in the state. She says right now, some ambulances don’t carry the drug because it is too expensive.
“Wisconsinites want their health care to be high quality, affordable and accessible. This is true for all aspects of the health care system, and this legislation seeks to accomplish that for those who require epinephrine to survive," Vining said.
There is little chance, however, Vining's plan will become law. The state Assembly is set to wrap up its business for the year by the end of the month, limiting the time necessary to consider her proposal.