Free EpiPens for NZ Kids in Need

Many New Zealand children with severe allergies will receive free, lifesaving EpiPen® auto injectors in the next year, thanks to FundaPen™ – a ground-breaking collaboration between Allergy New Zealand and Pub Charity.

From Monday 11 November, 2,500 free EpiPen® auto-injectors will be available to many young people, who have a doctor-diagnosed allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis.

Who can get a free EpiPen®?

The FundaPen collaboration follows numerous attempts in the last 15 years to have EpiPen® auto-injectors publicly funded through PHARMAC. It will directly benefit children between the ages of 2 and 18 years who are Māori, Pasifika, live in a quintile 5 region (the most socioeconomically deprived areas), or hold a Community Services Card.

“The initiative should provide some relief for families who currently struggle to buy an EpiPen® at a cost of $120 to $350 each year,” Allergy NZ Chief Executive Mark Dixon says. “We have been doing all we can to have EpiPen® auto injectors funded and while this is by no means the ideal way, we hope it will help many families in the short term.”

“We continue to hope that EpiPens® will eventually be publicly funded, as they are in Australia.”

Pub Charity CEO Martin Cheer says, “Pub Charity was delighted to support the FundaPen™ initiative and help young people with severe allergies to have the life-saving medication they need.”

How to receive a free EpiPen®

The $300,000 Pub Charity donation is strictly for the purchase of the EpiPen® auto-injectors from Allergy Pharmacy, who in turn will purchase them from
Mylan NZ Ltd. Allergy New Zealand will not receive any financial benefit from the donation.

Miranda Munn said she was delighted that her daughter, Alanah would be receiving a free EpiPen® this year. “I know we have to have a current EpiPen® available for Alanah but finding that much money is very difficult. We also have other medical bills, including those for Alanah’s asthma.”

To obtain one of the free EpiPen® auto injectors, families will need to visit their family doctor.

Allergy NZ is a 35-year old national charity that aims to improve the quality of life for New Zealanders living with allergies by providing evidence-based information and support.

FUNDAPEN™ Key Facts

  • EpiPen® auto-injectors are available through the FundaPen™ initiative from Monday 11 November, 2019
  • 1 FREE EpiPen® per eligible patient
  • To obtain a FREE EpiPen® auto injector, families will need to visit their family doctor
  • The exclusive distributor is AllergyPharmacy.co.nz
  • Every patient eligible for this offer needs to be doctor-diagnosed with an allergy that puts them at risk of anaphylaxis
  • Each recipient needs to receive an Action Plan and education in the use of the EpiPen® and how to manage their allergy to avoid anaphylaxis
  • AllergyPharmacy.co.nz will dispense each EpiPen® back to the GP who prescribed it under the FundaPen™programme, NOT direct to the patient as they would normally
  • Funding for 2,500 Epipen® auto-injectors is available under this initiative. Because of the challenges of access, this initiative is specifically targeted at children between the ages of 2 and 18 years who are Māori, Pasifika, live in a quintile 5 region or hold a Community Services Card.

Information in this article was provided by Allergy New Zealand.

Does your child require an EpiPen® or do you know a child who does? Join the discussion below.

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5 Comments

  1. dawnblyth 01/12/2019 at 11:40 pm

    We don’t need EpiPens in our house thankfully but I think they should be free it a lot more subsidized than they are for all people, not just children. Some of these are life threatening allergies that can be saved with an EpiPen

  2. Alezandra 01/12/2019 at 1:56 pm

    This a very move from the pharmacy brand to do this. It should always not just be about making money but making sure we actually help and get the support out there. More and more allergies are coming out there and some seemingly complicated at times. It’s all about the changing environment we have now, and we need to be more aware of these allergies as well.

  3. Shorrty4life1 28/11/2019 at 9:32 am

    I reckon this is absolutely great that they are finally funding these. We learnt about epi pens and how vital they are for some people’s everyday lives in the St John’s first aide course level 2. I would hate to be in their position to pay upto $350 for a Epi pen. I feel this is like a god send for people in need as its their lives on the line without this vital pen. Awesome job for funding it I say.

    • Shorrty4life1 28/11/2019 at 9:33 am

      And no my children dont use epi pens and have never needed one and in all honesty I don’t know anyone that needs one that I know.

  4. Bevik1971 28/11/2019 at 9:18 am

    Awww that’s so cool – poor wee kiddies that do have severe allergies 🙁 My duaghter has an intolerance to gluten and dairy, so only has a little bit occasionally and it can cause sore stomach and a really itchy anus unfortunately. But really pretty lucky that it’s not more severe than that as it can be life threatening in some cases. Pretty scary for kids and parents

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