Mylan's generic version could cost patients more, says pharmacist

Andrew Cummings
August 30, 2016

Mylan says it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism mounts over the price of its injectable medicine. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Mylan.

For more information on the new generic coming soon from Mylan visit the link below.

The company said Monday that its USA subsidiary will put out a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack - about half the current price. However, the difference in pricing comes down to the way the drug is administered, making a $15 commercial option "really challenging".

Both the brand name and the generic are auto-injectors, pre-loaded with epinephrine, lifesaving treatment during an allergic reaction. People usually keep multiple EpiPens handy at home, school or work, but the syringes, prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, expire after a year.

The Oversight committee was the one responsible for dragging former pharma CEO Martin Shkreli in to testify along with executives from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals.

On Monday, the committee's chair, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, and ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, sent Mylan CEO Heather Bresch a letter requesting documents related to the company's 500% price hike of the EpiPen since 2007.

A generic competitor was expected in 2015 but has been delayed. Now that product and a couple rival brand-name ones could hit the US market in mid- to late 2017. Then last Thursday the compounding pharmacy Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said it hopes to sell a version of the allergy shot in a few months for around $100 for two injectors. The Congress members also asked Mylan executives to brief the committee by September 6. Today the branded product costs about $US600 ($793). Those steps were to increase the financial assistance the company provided to commercially insured patients to help with their out-of-pocket costs and to broaden the eligibility for uninsured patients to receive free products. Mylan said that a year ago, almost 80 percent of its patients with commercial insurance paid nothing out of pocket for an EpiPen prescription due to its savings card.

Consumer watchdog group Public Citizen said Mylan's latest move was another "convoluted mechanism to avoid plain talk".

Other reports by iNewsToday