Beleaguered drug manufacturer Mylan has announced that it will introduce a generic version of the extremely costly EpiPen. The auto-injecting life saving generic drug will be made available in the markets in the coming weeks. These will be priced at about half the rate of the actual price.
EpiPen provides epinephrine to fight intense allergic reactions to any food or a bee sting. The branded version costs around $600 for a 2 pack whereas the generic version will come at $300 for a two pack. Apart from the cost, both the versions will be identical.
Many analysts have welcomed this move taken by Mylan. The director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan, Marianne Udow-Phillips, feels the generic version of EpiPen will lower your expense if you have a health plan that has co-pay or a deductible.
But there are still some who believe costs need to be reduced further. Public Citizen, the watchdog group, has said the drug is still overpriced considering the fact that it is required by a number of people. Consumers who are not aware of the availability of the generic version or cannot trust it will continue to be ripped off by the cost of the branded version.
Law makers, medical groups and consumers have been attacking the drug giant, Mylan, over the last couple of weeks accusing them of price-gouging. The branded version of the EpiPen is unaffordable for consumers who are not insured or who have health plans with very high deductibles. Back in 2007, a two pack of the auto injection used to cost just $100. Now it costs $600.
Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, has defended the rise in price of the branded version. Mylan gets only $274 of the $600 list price of the EpiPen. The rest of the amount goes to retail pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, wholesalers and insurers.
To make amendments, Mylan has now introduced a $300 savings card for buying the auto-injectible drug. It has also come up with other ways for lowering uninsured costs. The drug manufacturers have also donated approximately 700,000 EpiPens to about 65,000 schools.
Bresch, in her statement, stated that Mylan realizes the concerns and frustrations of patients who cannot afford EpiPen. To minimize this, Mylan has launched the generic version of the branded injection which has provided them with great commercial response.