CVS Health announced Thursday morning that it has cut the price of two-packs of epinephrine auto-injectors to $109.99 — roughly the price that brand-name EpiPen shots were selling for eight years ago, before their escalating price became a hot political issue.
A CVS Health spokesperson said that the pharmacies used to sell these products for about $200 a two-pack, and that the price cut was motivated by customers angry with the high price of epinephrine auto-injectors, which are used to quell severe allergic reactions. A press release cites “millions” of individuals who took to social media looking for a solution.
The products that CVS Health is selling for such a low price are the authorized generic Adrenaclick auto-injectors. Meanwhile, it is selling the generic EpiPens for $339.99, and the brand EpiPens for $649.99.
This announcement comes the day after President-elect Donald Trump declared at a press conference that drug companies are “getting away with murder” and that the government needs more power to be able to negotiate prices.
Some state Medicaid programs and the large private insurer Cigna have recently changed their policies, making it easier for patients to get generic auto-injectors and harder for them to get the brand-name products.
CVS Health said that the $109.99 price is available to anyone who walks into the pharmacy.
Commercially insured patients are eligible to receive $100 off that price via a manufacturer coupon, potentially lowering their cost to $9.99.
Mark Donahue, vice president for investor relations and corporate communications at Impax Laboratories, which markets the generic Adrenaclick, said that the arrangement with CVS has been in the works for several weeks. Impax is selling the auto-injectors directly to CVS, without a middleman wholesaler.
Donahue said that Impax primarily works with wholesalers, but that it is able to work directly with some large pharmacy chains to sell them certain products like this. He did not comment on whether cutting out the middleman allows Impax to sell the auto-injector for a lower price. He declined to disclose how much they are charging CVS for the auto-injectors, but said that it is “obviously less than the WAC price,” which currently sits around $400.
Mylan, which markets the EpiPen and its generic, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.