Fundapen™ Initiative Extended To All Kiwis In Need Of Life-saving Epipen® Auto-injectors
The FundaPen™ campaign, which last year saw hundreds of free EpiPens® given to children in need, has been extended for a limited time to any New Zealander at risk of anaphylaxis.
While funded stocks last, Allergy New Zealand and Pub Charity are offering the auto-injector pens to anyone who is doctor-diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis. EpiPen® (adrenaline autoinjector pens), which last only 12 – 18 months, are not funded by Pharmac and can cost anywhere between $120 and $350 each.
To receive a free EpiPen®, people who have been diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis, should talk to their General Practitioner, who will be able to order it through Allergy Pharmacy. The pens will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served basis’ until the remaining funding runs out. Allergy NZ does not receive any financial benefit from the FundaPen™ initiative.
PHOs have been providing General Practices with information about FundaPen™. Pegasus Health General Practices can find the information on Health Pathways.
Pub Charity last year donated $300,000 to increase the availability of EpiPen auto-injectors for allergy sufferers who are doctor-diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis such as to food, or bee or wasp venom. Allergy NZ will continue to seek funding to sustain the FundaPen™ initiative as long as possible. Allergy NZ Chief Executive Mark Dixon says the organisation is very grateful to Pub Charity for making this initiative possible. “Together we wanted to raise awareness of this issue and ensure as many eligible people as possible benefited from FundaPen™,” he says.
The collaboration with Pub Charity, followed eight attempts in the last 15 years to have EpiPen® auto-injectors publicly funded through PHARMAC. “We continue to hope that EpiPens® will eventually become publicly funded as they are in Australia,” Mark says. “We have been doing all we can, and while FundaPen™ is by no means the ideal way, we hope the initiative will help many New Zealanders in the short term.”
Once all the fully-funded FREE EpiPen® auto-injector pens have been dispensed from Allergy Pharmacy, regular prescribing protocols, distribution and fees will apply.