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Allergy Today From Mark's Desk: FundaPen

Welcome to Allergy Today. We invite you to share this free e-newsletter with anyone interested in all things allergy.

This month, we announced that many New Zealand children with severe allergies will receive FREE EpiPen® auto injectors in the next year, thanks to FundaPen™ - a ground-breaking collaboration between Allergy New Zealand and Pub Charity.Mark Dixon

Allergy NZ and Pub Charity Provide Free EpiPen® Auto Injectors to Kids in Need

I hope you all caught this exciting news last week. We hope to benefit as many families as we can, but it is also an opportunity to add your voice to support the call for adrenaline auto injectors to be fully funded by our Government (Pharmac) as an emergency medicine!

Our Media Release

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 EpiPen® auto-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.  

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
  • 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. 
  • will dispense each EpiPen® back to the GP who prescribed it under the FundaPen™programme, NOT direct to the patient as they would normally. 
  • We are able to fund 2,500 Epipen® auto-injectors 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.

The Bottom Line
Please jump on our bandwagon. Yes - we are meeting a small portion of the 'need' but the bigger opportunity here is to press our Government for change.

We have reached more than 105,000 people through our Facebook page since the launch of FundaPen last Monday. We need that engagement to spread beyond our allergy community.

Please share this news with everyone you know.

Mark Dixon, CEO Allergy NZ