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Allergy NZ and Pub Charity provides free EpiPens to children in need

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Many New Zealand children with severe allergies will receive free, life- saving 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 EpiPenauto-injectors will be available to young people, who have a doctor-diagnosed allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis.

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 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."

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.

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