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New house bill introduced this week aims to lower the cost of allergy medication, EpiPen

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- A new bill introduced into the Colorado House of Representatives at the start of the new legislative session is trying to make epinephrine auto-injectors more affordable for Coloradans.

HB23-1002 works for both insured and uninsured Coloradans. First, by capping the cost to uninsured Coloradans to about $20-30 per two-pack of the injector. If the pharmacies end up selling the pens at a loss, the manufacturer would be responsible for reimbursing them.

Secondly, the bill would also cap the cost to insured people, so long as the insurance carrier covered the medication.

The general cost of an EpiPen is around $600 and that price has grown exponentially since 2007. Sponsors of the bill said it only costs the manufacturers $5 to make.

An EpiPen can stop a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. One of the prime sponsors, democrat Rep. Javier Mabrey said he's talked to school nurses who say they hesitate before administering an EpiPen because they know it will stick families with a huge bill.

"Sometimes they’re hesitant to use the EpiPen because then they have to charge the family. It can cost 5 to $600 and oftentimes these families are having to decide — ya know already they’re having to make tough decisions," Rep. Mabrey said.

For more information on HB23-1002, click here.

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Riley Carroll

Riley is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about her here.

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