Illinois now first state to require insurance pay for children's EpiPens

What is the Epipen

The governor of Illinois is making sure that children have access to life-saving medication.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law this week, a first for the country, requiring insurance companies to pay for EpiPens for children 18 and under who need them, CNN reported.

The law takes affect Jan. 1.

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EpiPens contain epinephrine or adrenaline. Epinephrine opens airways and reduce swelling in an anaphylactic attack, CNN reported.

The cost of two EpiPens was $100 in 2009. In 2016, the cost was $600.

The company that produced EpiPens, Mylan, blamed health insurance for the high price.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved a generic form of EpiPens, according to CNN.

Manufacturing problems have also contributed to patients who need the life-saving medication, but cannot get it, according to Consumer Reports.

But there are new treatments coming to market.

Novartis has released Symjepi, which is a new type of injector. Walgreens also offers a third type called Auvi-Q that is no cost to those who have insurance. If a patient is in need of Auvi-Q, but isn't near a Walgreens, the company that makes it, Kaelo, will ship it to them at no cost, according to Consumer Reports.