Generic EpiPen alternative to cost half the price

The introduction of the generic is in addition to measures the company announced last week for the branded EpiPen, which will remain in place. The generic drug will cost $300 per two-pack, about half the cost of the $608 brand name EpiPen.

The generic EpiPen will be identical to the branded product, including device functionality and drug formulation, and cost $300 per twopack carton, Mylan said in a statement on Monday.

The new generic form will be available in both the.15 mg and.30 mg strength. The syringes, prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, expire after a year. Consumers and politicians have accused the company of price-gouging, since the list price for a pair of EpiPens has climbed repeatedly from around $94 in 2007, when Mylan acquired the product.

Under vast scrutiny and criticism, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch comments that this move is a simpler alternative than rolling back the price nearer to its original cost.

Among the USA lawmakers that criticised Mylan's actions, Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal said the company, with its latest announcement, may appear to be moving in the right direction, but raises as many questions as solutions, including why the price is still astronomically high and whether its action is a preemptive strike against a competing generic. This means that a family of four making up to $97,200 would be eligible to pay effectively nothing for an EpiPen. It also said it will offer $300 copay cards, up from the current $100 per-prescription savings.

In response to this growing wave of criticism, Mylan will launch a generic version of its EpiPen.

She is showing me several boxes of Epipens.

"Our decision to launch a generic alternative to EpiPen is an extraordinary commercial response", Bresch said. "The launch of a generic EpiPen®, which follows the steps we took last week on the brand to immediately reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs, will offer a long-term solution to further reduce costs and ease the burden and complexity of the process on the patient". Mylan has repeatedly pointed to high-deductible health plans as the main reason that patients are paying more for EpiPens. "Mylan's specialty drug business saw similarly strong sales revenue of $1.2 billion in 2015". Now that product and a couple rival brand-name ones could hit the USA market in mid- to late 2017.

Mylan faces no immediate generic threat, but some companies are looking at developing less expensive products that achieve the same result.

There is also little competition, with the only rival product being Adrenaclick, which carries a list price of $461. But that could change. "We determined that bypassing the brand system in this case and offering an additional alternative was the best option". Sanofi removed a nongeneric competitor from the market previous year because of dosing issues. The Congress members also asked Mylan executives to brief the committee by September 6.

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