EpiPen vs Auvi-Q...And I Mean That in the Nicest Way

EpiPen and Auvi-Q
We now have EpiPens and Auvi-Q's in our house. Of course this may not work for every household. It could be confusing for younger children to have two different epinephrine devices. It may be disorienting to some caregivers. But, for us, it works to have both. There are times when it's easier for me to fit Auvi-Q in my favorite small purse. 

Other times, the shape of the EpiPen works better. 

Size of Auvi-Q
But, what I most appreciate is having choice. EpiPen is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. While we've seen a few other devices designed to treat anaphylaxis over the years (think Twinject and Adrenaclick), we haven't seen any new innovation- until Auvi-Q came on the market last week. The shape is remarkably different than anything else we've seen and a voice talks the user through the procedure, much as a defibrillator (AED) does.

When I called my doctor's office earlier this week to ask for an Auvi-Q prescription, they said, "Would you spell that please?" A nurse called back a short time later to say that they had a training on Auvi-Q coming up in a few days and that they didn't yet have the prescription information entered in their computer. They manually called in my prescription to Target. 

I'm also sending in some trainers to the director of our school nurses so she can share it at next week's nursing staff meeting. It's important to tell schools, daycares, babysitters and others if you've got an Auvi-Q for your child as they may search for the traditional shape of an EpiPen.

Price of the new Auvi-Q has been a hot topic. Each prescription comes with two devices and a trainer. I paid $72.74 for my prescription that was covered by insurance. By comparison, I pay $48.43 for EpiPen. This time, I only paid $25 for Auvi-Q because I printed a coupon. The coupon can be used twice and offers a $25 co-pay for prescriptions covered by insurance, or $60 off for self-pay customers. Honestly, that is a greater price difference than I expected. Our new Auvi-Q devices don't expire until April 2014, but as our EpiPens expire, we'll need to decide if the extra cost is worth it to us.

We need companies like Mylan and Sanofi and we need independent inventors like the Edwards brothers to keep us informed and to bring innovation and choice. Until the day finally comes when we no longer need to fear food, bees, latex and anything else that may lead to anaphylaxis, there's room for pioneers and options.   

Auvi-Q Prescription
 Will you have both devices in your house?


fun as a gran said...

thought I would share this with you.

Its not spam but my granddaughter showing how to use the new pen

Gratefulfoodie said...

I'm hoping to have both devices in our house! The Auvi-Q for my son and the Epi Pen for my daughter.

My school district nurses were attending an Auvi-Q
training and I had a meeting with the school district planned until both kids spiked with fevers. Hopefully I can speak to the district next week. I'm very curious about their opinions and plans.

Unknown said...

Finally a post about EpiPen and Auvi-Q that doesn't attack either company. Great job! It's important to remember how valuable both of these companies have been and will be in the future to us. Thanks for a the good review.

Unknown said...

The size of the Auvi-Q is definitely appealing. However, I can't stop thinking about how the EpiPen has saved my son's life twice already. You did a great job reviewing both devices without attacking either company. Great job!

Lindsey said...

What a fantastic post! I've been waiting to see a non-biased comparison of them side by side and this is perfect! Thanks for sharing :)

Lisa Rutter said...

We now have both.

Unknown said...

We have both my 13 year old son loves the Auvi-Q. But we still have the Epi-pens at school. I live in LA which no longer has school nurses for each school. The teachers were trained on Epi-pens and all the school district paperwork references the Epi-Pen. When I requested an extra trainer for the Auvi-Q for my son's school, the Auvi-Q customer service refused. They said they would only give them to medical offices. They refuse to sell or give me one. You were given extra trainers but not me. So I have nothing to train the teachers or the district. If I give them the one trainer I have, I will never get it back. The schools already have Epi-pen trainers. This seems very short sighted on Sanfi's part. Also I am concerned that EMT's will not recognize the Auvi-Q as an epinephrine injector. I have my son carrying it when he is out with his friends. I have trained his friends in the new injector. I see an up hill battle with getting it into my son's school. These are things I didn't think about when I got the new injector. My son is in the second largest school district in the country. Unless Auvi-Q addresses school training, etc. we will be using Epi-pens in the future irregardless of liking the new injector.

Unknown said...


You raise some good points about Auvi-Q and school training. I got a trainer when I attended the preview event at Sanofi. I will pass your comments on to my contact there. I'll keep you posted on their response!

Anonymous said...

We're trying the new Auvi-Q as well, but thankfully it was only about a $8 difference for us. I am a bit nervous that someone who made need to use it in an emergency won't recognize it as epinephrine.