Mylan to offer generic EpiPen at half list price

30 Aug 2016


Drugmaker Mylan yesterday said it would offer a generic version of its life-saving allergy treatment EpiPen for half the list price of the brand-name treatment after it attracted controversy with its aggressive pricing strategy. (See: Mylan raises prices of allergy medication EpiPens 500%) According to commentators, the move comes as a marked shift in the drugmaker's position after it vigorously defended multiple increases over the years resulting in a list price of about $600 for a two-pack of the emergency injection treatment, up from about $100 in 2009.

The generic version of EpiPen, "will be identical to the branded product, including device functionality and drug formulation," Mylan said in a statement.

USA Today reported, quoting Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation at the University of Michigan, "It's highly unusual for a generic product to come out in this way. It clearly shows how much pressure Mylan was under. It's still a huge profit margin for them."

Meanwhile, Mylan NV said in a press release its US subsidiary will launch "the first generic to EpiPen Auto-Injector (epinephrine injection, USP) at a list price of $300 per generic EpiPen two-pack carton, which represents a discount of more than 50 per cent to the Mylan list price, or wholesale acquisition cost, of the branded medicine."

The authorised generic will be identical to the branded product, including device functionality and drug formulation.

Mylan expects to launch the product in several weeks, pending completion of labeling revisions. Upon launch, the product will be available as a two-pack carton in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths.

Mylan also intends to continue to market and distribute branded EpiPen.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch commented, "We understand the deep frustration and concerns associated with the cost of EpiPen to the patient, and have always shared the public's desire to ensure that this important product be accessible to anyone who needs it. Our decision to launch a generic alternative to EpiPen is an extraordinary commercial response, which required the cooperation of our partner.

"However, because of the complexity and opaqueness of today's branded pharmaceutical supply chain and the increased shifting of costs to patients as a result of high deductible health plans, we determined that bypassing the brand system in this case and offering an additional alternative was the best option. Generic drugs have a long, proven track record of delivering significant savings to both patients and the overall healthcare system. 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."

Last week Mylan had said it was reducing the patient cost of EpiPen Auto-Injector through the use of a savings card which would cover up to $300 for an EpiPen 2-Pak pack

(See: Mylan to further enhance access to EpiPen Auto-Injector).      

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