Good News For EpiPen Users
Mylan NV is launching the first generic version of its allergy auto-injector EpiPen for $US300 ($A396), half the price of the branded product, the drugmaker's second step in less than a week to counter the backlash over the product's steep price.
The company reduced the out-of-pocket costs of EpiPen for some patients on Thursday, but kept the list price at about $US600, a move that U..lawmakers and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said was not enough.
EpiPen cost about $US100 in 2008.
Mylan said on Monday it expected to launch the generic product "in several weeks", an unusual move considering the branded bestseller is still patent protected and major rival treatments have failed to get regulatory clearances.
Mylan has defended EpiPen's high price, saying it had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the product since acquiring it in 2007.
It has said it recoups less than half the list price as pharmacy benefit managers, which often require discounted prices or rebates from drugmakers, are involved, along with insurers and others.
"Our decision to launch a generic alternative to EpiPen is an extraordinary commercial response," Chief Executive Heather Bresch said on Monday.
However, consumer watchdog group Public Citizen said Mylan's latest move was another "convoluted mechanism to avoid plain talk, admit to price gouging and just cut the price of EpiPen".
Some lawmakers last week asked the Food and Drug Administration about its approval process for rival treatments.
The FDA rejected Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp's rival treatment in June and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's generic version earlier this year.
Sanofi SA has pulled its device from the market last year on concerns of inaccurate dosage.
EpiPen is a preloaded injection of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, used in case of a dangerous allergic reaction called anaphylaxis that could cause death if untreated.
There is no word on when this change may affect prices in Australia just yet, but we are hoping it's very soon.