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rug maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals, under fire from the public and Congress over the soaring price of its anaphylaxis treatment, will launch a generic version of the EpiPen auto-injector at a list price of $300 per two-pack — roughly half the cost of EpiPen, the company announced early Monday morning.

The generic version, which Mylan says will be identical to EpiPen in both design and drug formulation, will hit shelves in “several weeks,” according to a company press release. Like EpiPen, the generic version will come in two strengths. The company will continue to offer expanded discounts to patients who purchase the branded EpiPen.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch called the move “an extraordinary commercial response” to patient anger and frustration over the rising cost of the EpiPen.

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Mylan has been steadily hiking the price of the epinephrine auto-injector once or twice a year, but Bresch has blamed the recent uproar on other players in the supply chain, including pharmacy benefits managers and the insurance industry. In an interview last week on CNBC, she called the system “broken,” noting that many patients are forced to pay more for drugs because their premiums and deductibles have jumped.

Bresch repeated that argument on Monday, saying that Mylan had determined that simply cutting the cost of the EpiPen wouldn’t be the most effective response “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.”

Natalia Bronshtein/STAT Source: Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ Gold Standard Drug Database

Ronny Gal, an analyst at Bernstein, thinks it’s a smart play. He figures Mylan will make about 25 percent less revenue per prescription with generic EpiPen, but it could be a worthwhile trade-off. “We expect the company will get some credit for the sharp moves,” Gal wrote, “not absolution, but some recognition they responded.” Bresch’s goal has been to shift the focus from drug manufacturers onto payers and insurance companies, and Mylan’s latest gambit could move the needle, according to Gal.

Mylan is largely a generics company; in fact, earlier this year, Bresch was elected chair of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s board of directors. But the brand-name EpiPen has been essential to the company’s growth in recent years.

Before last week’s expansion of discount programs, EpiPen was expected to generate nearly $1.5 billion in sales for Mylan this year. That amounts to about 13 percent of Mylan’s revenue, according to Gal.

Bresch, who has called EpiPen her “baby,” has aggressively marketed the product through conventional ads and unbranded campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of allergic reactions. She’s also spent heavily to lobby Congress for legislation to encourage schools to stock auto-injectors.

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  • Some news which might help to the financial burden: EpiPenIns, a membership based, insurance like set-up, has launched the website https://epipeninsurance.com – Clearly, born out of frustration as well as passion, they offer a replacement and/or compensation for used EpiPens. They even offer an ´out of date´ replacement which is one of the biggest financial issues for anybody.

  • I used the generic pill for my ADD meds – generic Dexedrine and it was garbage. It changed my dose, because I ended up having to take two generic pills to get the affect of one 5 mg Dexedrine. For the whole 3 months I was on it, I felt the difference and was either over or under medicated. When I had completed the run, I went back to original, nevertheless it’s taken almost a month for me to once again feel right in my body and my mind. I’m not a fan of generic medication anymore, even though it did save me cash money. The hidden costs of taking generic meds have turned me off forever. My condition is not life threatening. Will the generic epi-pen kill people because they will attempt to compromise the quality? Quality HAS to be compromised, otherwise why would they attempt to offer a generic epi-pen at all? gh

    • I’m am just starting Mylan brand Dex 15 mg ER x2 after a 15 year hiatus and am wondering what your problem was with this brand as this is all that seems to be available to me where i live. thanks for your help.

  • Just plain mockery of human intelligence, exploitation of our legally corrupt system and greed. Ms. Heather Bresch on one hand suggests that she is a generic seller but used her father’s connections to take advantage of human emotions.

  • China could source the epinephrine from the US (to help us to be confident in it’s purity) and put it together with their injection device. It should not be rocket science for the FDA to approve a device that is substantially the same as the one Mylan uses.

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