A Whanganui father wants EpiPens to be funded by Pharmac.

Solo dad Joe Lawrence's son, Shaun Lawrence, is allergic to bee stings, which they first discovered in 2012 when Shaun received "a minor bee sting" which caused his leg to swell up to the thigh.

The 12-year-old also has Asperger Syndrome and a mild intellectual disability, Mr Lawrence said.

Suffering from his own health problems, Mr Lawrence is on a benefit, and between that and trying to raise two children, he struggles to afford the EpiPen, which can cost up to $180.


The EpiPen is one-use only, and expires after a year.

The alternative is a syringe and adrenaline ampoule, which can be tricky for someone not used to drawing up a syringe of adrenaline and delivering the injection.

Mr Lawrence said if his son did not have an EpiPen he would have to get all his teachers trained in injecting him if he had a reaction.

"It doesn't matter how old the child is. Even adults that are going into anaphylaxis aren't going to have time to do it themselves."

Mr Lawrence has not had to use an EpiPen on his son yet, but did have to use one when another child in his son's holiday programme had an allergic reaction.

"It's about time the Government stands up and does something for the New Zealand people instead of worrying about small things. This is a life-saving drug. They could have easily pushed this through and made it more accessible to lots of families."

Mr Lawrence's petition can be found on Facebook under the page name: Petition for EPI PEN funding from Pharmac and Ministry of Health NZ.