Much to the dismay of insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, Kaléo Pharma has announced that the list price for a two-pack of its EpiPen alternative auto-injectors will be set at $4,500. According to a press release issued by Kaléo, the Auvi-Q will be available by prescription starting in mid-February.
“We met with patients and physicians and listened to the very real challenges in the current healthcare environment with obtaining access to affordable medicines,” said Spencer Williamson, President and CEO of Kaléo. “As a result, starting February 14, for more than 200 million Americans with commercial insurance, including those with high-deductible plans, the out-of-pocket cost for Auvi-Q will be $0.”
For uninsured patients whose annual household income is less than $100,000, the Auvi-Q will also be offered free of charge. All other uninsured patients will be subject to a cash price of $360 for the two-pack of Auvi-Q auto-injectors.
According to a report from The Street, major payers like Express Scripts, Cigna and Humana have no plans to cover the cost of the Auvi-Q auto-injector. Instead, the healthcare insurers will continue to pay for other EpiPen alternatives, such as Impax Pharmaceuticals’ Adrenaclick, and generic versions of the device.
Healthcare payer, Aetna, told BioPharmaDive that it “will treat the re-entrance of AuviQ as a new drug into the market, as with any other new drug,” and “will be placing in a restricted coverage level until a final formulary coverage is determined. With the generic to both EpiPen and the generic to Adrenaclick at Tier 1, as well as brand-name EpiPen at tier 2/Preferred coverage, we have cost-effective alternatives available for our members.”
Auvi-Q auto-injectors were recalled in 2015 after some patients reported issues with inaccurate dosage delivery. Shortly after, Sanofi terminate its licensing deal with Kaléo prompting the company to make some improvements to the device.
“We know how important it is that severely allergic patients have an epinephrine auto-injector that can be with them at all times and used correctly, even without training, during a panic-stricken allergic emergency,” said Dr. Eric Edwards, Vice President of Product Strategy at Kaléo. “We are excited to make Auvi-Q, an epinephrine auto-injector with innovative features, available for millions of patients living with severe, life-threatening allergies.”