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In a setback to Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would allow pharmacists to substitute alternatives for the pricey EpiPen allergic-reaction device without requiring a new prescription from a physician.

The bill must still pass a Senate vote, but it has the potential for altering the competitive landscape, since pharmacists in these states are currently prohibited from unilaterally making any substitutions for the device. Similar legislation has been introduced in four other states — New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Vermont — but have not progressed this far.


The Ohio bill, which was introduced in February, is designed to make it easier to afford comparable devices. EpiPen was the subject of a national outcry after Mylan raised the list price by 500 percent, to $608 for a two-pack, over the past decade. Since then, Mylan introduced its own generic for $300 and two other devices are also available, at varying prices, depending upon insurance coverage.

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