(AP) — Mylan says it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism mounts over the price of its injectable medicine.
The company said Monday that its U.S. 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. It will be available in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths.
Major announcement this morning from the makers of EpiPen: https://t.co/faVslpD208
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 29, 2016
EpiPens are used in emergencies to treat severe allergies to insect bites and foods like nuts and eggs that can lead to anaphylactic shock.
Mylan N.V. said that it anticipates having the generic versions available in the next several weeks. It will continue to market and distribute a branded EpiPen.
The company charges $608 for a two-pack of the branded EpiPen. Mylan said it will keep in place the $300 savings card for the branded EpiPen and the revised patient assistance program announced last week.
Mylan to Offer a Generic EpiPen at Half the Price https://t.co/KTcIl5f968
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 29, 2016
Consumers and politicians have accused the company of price-gouging, considering that the product has been on the market since 1987 and the price didn’t start rising significantly until Mylan acquired it in 2007.
There is also little competition, with the only rival product being Adrenaclick, which carries a list price of $461.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch has defended the price hikes, saying the company only received $274 of the total price for a twin-package while insurers, pharmacies and other parties divvy up the rest.
People usually keep a number of EpiPens handy at home, school or work. The syringes, prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, expire after a year.
Numerous members of Congress and other politicians this week have called for congressional hearings on Mylan’s pricing, an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and action by the Food and Drug Administration to increase competition by speeding up approvals of any rival products.
At least two companies are trying to get U.S. approval to sell a rival brand or generic version of EpiPen. None is likely to hit the U.S. market until well into next year. Relief could come sooner from Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a compounding pharmacy that prepares medicines to fill individual prescriptions. It said it might be able to sell a version in a few months and would likely charge around $100 for two injectors.