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Allergy Today: FundaPen™ Update

Free EpiPen® adrenaline auto injectors for children in low income households

In mid-November, Allergy New Zealand launched the FundaPen Initiative, to assist families struggling to afford EpiPen® auto injectors for their children. iStock-875917042-862

This national initiative was made possible in collaboration with Pub Charity who provided the funding.

Details of the FundaPen Initiative were outlined in our Allergy Today November e-newsletter here and through social and other media.

Setting the initiative up was a complex process including the need to meet regulatory requirements for prescribed and restricted medicines. As funding is a fixed amount ($300,000), Allergy NZ has chosen to offer this unique opportunity to children and young people in communities where access to services and support is often limited.

In discussion with PHO (Primary Healthcare Organisations) representatives and GPs, it was agreed the most straightforward way was to base criteria on data easily available to GPs. Aside from the age (under 18 years) any one of the following eligibility criteria can qualify your child – Māori or Pasifika or Quintile 5 or that the family or child has a Community Services Card*.

Information was sent out to GPs nationally via their PHOs in early November, and again in early December. We have then been reliant on PHOs to forward it on to their members who are your local GPs. Unfortunately, the FundaPen information has not been shared as quickly with GP practices as we had hoped. We appreciate this is frustrating for families and health professionals alike.

For families whose child needs an EpiPen® and is eligible for a free one, we recommend you contact your GP clinic and ask if they are aware of the FundaPen™ Initiative. If so, make an appointment for your child to have their Anaphylaxis Action Plan reviewed and a FundaPen™ prescription processed.

  • Please note that your GP will need to fax the EpiPen® prescription to Allergy Pharmacy, and the EpiPen® will be couriered back to your GP’s clinic for you to collect.
  • You cannot collect your FundaPen from a local pharmacy.
  • It will not be couriered to you directly.
  • If your GP submits your prescription in accordance with the FundaPen prescriber instructions, your free EpiPen® should arrive at your Doctor’s Practice approximately 3 days after your prescription is faxed.

If the GP clinic is not aware of the FundaPen Initiative, please show them this information and/or ask them to contact Allergy New Zealand on allergy@allergy.org.nz 
We can then email them the FundaPen
prescriber instructions directly and answer any queries they may have.

Allergy New Zealand, January 2020

*This data is accessible to all GPs and they will be able to confirm whether your child is eligible for a free EpiPen® adrenaline auto-injector provided by the FundaPen initiative.