Mylan to offer generic EpiPen at half list price

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

Mylan has tried to get back in the good graces of the parents of children with allergies by announcing on August 29 they would be offering a generic version of the EpiPen, which would be identical to the brand-name product, but sold at the wholesale price of $300 for a pack of two, according to USA Today. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Manchin did not sign the letter.

The senators requested that Mylan answer a series of questions to provide additional information about the impact that the EpiPen price hike and the associated changes in Mylan's patient assistance program and other accessibility programs will have on consumers and on taxpayers.

The company reduced the out-of-pocket costs of EpiPen for some patients on Thursday, but kept the list price at about $600, a move that USA lawmakers and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said was not enough. The lawmakers asked Mylan to answer detailed questions by September 12. As of May 2016, Mylan had increased the price of this life-saving device by over 480 percent - from $103.50 for a set of two in 2009 to $608.61 today - while Mylan's own CEO's compensation grew 670 percent. But for years, Mylan and its business partners have fought fiercely behind the scenes to block a cheaper generic from hitting the market, NBC New York's I-Team reported.

EpiPen has a 94 percent market share for auto-injector devices, which jab a dose of the drug epinephrine into the thigh to counter unsafe allergic reactions such as to peanuts, other foods and bee stings.

There's now little competition for EpiPen.

Last week, Mylan offered more financial aid to patients getting EpiPens, including coupon cards covering up to $300 off patient copayments, triple the $100 discounts previously offered.

But those moves won't defray the cost of the "exorbitantly expensive" product for other health care players, including the government, insurance companies and employers, the senators said, which in turn pass those costs to consumers through premium payments.

"EpiPens are a critical and often only option for saving kids from the brink of death during severe allergic reactions". In making generic EpiPens available within weeks, as Mylan said it plans to do, it's beating its competitor to the punch.

Other reports by iNewsToday