A $300 generic version of the EpiPen has officially launched.
Mylan said Friday that the authorized generic version of the company’s branded pen would be at pharmacies by next week.
“Every day, escalating out-of-pocket costs impact a new patient population; however, this broader systemic issue will not be solved in a meaningful and sustainable way by our industry’s one-off, reactive responses,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a news release.
“That is why it is critical that all industry participants and government leaders come together to seize the opportunity to make fundamental changes to the system to ensure access to medicine.”
High-deductible insurance plans are on the rise, and they leave patients on the hook for a greater portion of medications like insulin or the EpiPen, which is used to treat extreme allergic reactions.
Mylan was called out in August for raising the price of the EpiPen to $608.61 from $93.88 over the past decade. It caught the nation’s attention because parents were refilling their kids’ prescriptions, and some found that they were on the hook for hundreds of dollars for the device.
“EpiPen had to be the catalyst to show this window into what hardworking families are facing in the rapid rise of high-deductible plan,” Bresch said at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in early December.
Authorized generics are basically a drugmaker’s way of staying in the game after generic competition comes to the market. What’s unusual with the EpiPen is that generic competition to the EpiPen hasn’t come out yet, though other companies are trying. The US Food and Drug Administration keeps track of all the authorized generics that the makers of original branded products have created.
To be clear, analysts expect the authorized generic EpiPen to make more money for Mylan than the branded version, since it won’t face the same middlemen as the branded version.